News of the WeekHuman Genome Project

And the Gene Number Is ...?

Science  19 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5469, pp. 1146-1147
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5469.1146

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COLD SPRING HARBOR, NEW YORK-- Biologists have long assumed that the more complex an organism is, the more genes it has. But last week at a meeting here, the generally accepted human gene count of 80,000 to 100,000 took a battering when researchers from Germany, the United States, and France offered revised estimates of the number of genes--all of them well below 50,000. The talks, some of which will be published in the June issue of Nature Genetics, sparked heated debates, with at least one genomicist countering with a new 100,000-plus estimate.