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Saturday, May 13, 2000

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Nature Chromosome 21 published
"nature.com today publishes the DNA sequence of human chromosome 21 as a special and freely available web pre-publication. The article will appear in print in the May 18 issue of Nature and this print version should be referred to in citations.

A striking feature of the chromosome is that it contains less than 300 discernible genes, each likely to encode a protein with a specific role in our biochemical production line. Extrapolation of this observation implies that the whole human genome may contain no more than 40,000 genes, many fewer than previously thought."

Wired News Amped Geneticists Bet on Genome
"Well, they weren't all men, but mostly. The betting in the pub continued, the lowest bet being 29,800 genes placed by Pat Tome and the highest number coming from John Quackenbush at 118,259.

The pool was organized by Erwin Birney, a team leader at the European Bioinformatics Institute. He tried to convince the bartender to oversee the betting, but was told in no uncertain terms that no gambling was allowed in the Cold Spring bar.

Guesses on the number of genes in the human genome have lowered considerably since the mapping of chromosome 21, which researchers found to contain only 225 genes, far fewer than previously predicted. The researchers on the chromosome 21 study predicted their results could mean that there are as few as 40,000 genes in the entire human genome.

"Someone from Incyte will probably show up and bet 150,000," one gambler said."



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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.

BIOINFORMATICS IN THE 21st CENTURY

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