News & CommentSEQUENCING

Hubris and the Human Genome

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Science  15 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5366, pp. 994-995
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5366.994

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On 9 May, nonconformist genome sequencer J. Craig Venter and the Perkin-Elmer Corp. announced that they are forming a new company to sequence the human genome in 3 years at a fraction of the cost of the government-financed Human Genome Project. Some in the genome community are skeptical that Venter can meet the promised cost and quality goals and fear that the new company will not release sequence data as quickly as the centers participating in the Human Genome Project do, while others welcome the venture as a quick way to get the most useful sequence data. For now, federal officials are polite but cautious.