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Friday, April 07, 2000

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The Washington Post Celera Hits Gene Map Milestone
""It would be a huge mistake to say that this company has sequenced a human genome," said Eric Lander, director of the Whitehead Center for Genome Research in Boston, which estimates it has contributed about 25 percent of the publicly available sequenced information so far. "People may have the misimpression that a private company has sequenced the human genome. Today more than 70 percent of the human sequence is already on the Web from the public sequencing project. We're proud of that and we're glad Venter has been able to use that data to help him get to where he is.""
The New York Times Analysis of Human Genome Is Said to Be Completed
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"Dr. J. Craig Venter told a Congressional committee today that his company, the Celera Corporation, had finished analyzing all necessary pieces of human DNA and would assemble the whole human genome within three to six weeks, far earlier than expected."

"Dr. Venter said that after the human genome was assembled, he would convene a conference of outside experts to annotate it, meaning to identify where the genes lie on the DNA and what they do. Annotation is achieved with computer programs that analyze the DNA sequence, pinpoint the components of genes, and guess their biological role from comparison with known genes of other species that are already in the databases.

Only 3 percent of the human genome codes for genes, and the methods for identifying them are far from perfect. Once the annotation experts have finished their task, sometime later this year, Celera will make its human genome sequence freely available to researchers, Dr. Venter said."

"Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat, asked in relation to decoding the human genome sequence: "Does this mean we can alter the race of people? Can we design who inhabits this earth?"

Wired Rivals to Celera: 'What-EVer'
"After Celera announced Thursday morning that it had finished the sequencing phase of one person's genetic code, its shares (CRA) skyrocketed, catching a host of other biotech stocks in its upstream.

But investors are being duped by the hype, say competitors."

""From a commercial point of view, it really is a non-event," said Roy Whitfield, CEO of Incyte Genomics, a private company that sells genes individually. "About 80 percent of what they say they have achieved is already public knowledge."

""It's science by press release. You can have hype and not substance and make your stock go up.""

The Register Alpha chip powers Celera genome burst
"Biotech firm Celera said yesterday that it has now finished sequencing 99 per cent of the human genetic pattern, and confirmed it will complete its corporate push during the course of this year.

Sources close to the firm's plans said it has used "mass quantities" of an as yet unreleased 667MHz Alpha processor, each of which includes 8Mb of cache*, incorporated in four way ES40 AlphaServers."

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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