(Biology - History) Annotation of the Celera Human Gene Assembly
(Biology - History) Annotation of the Celera Human Gene Assembly
(Biology - History) Annotation of the Celera Human Gene Assembly

Mapmaker: Celera - Human Genome Project

(Biology - History) Annotation of the Celera Human Gene Assembly

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  • biology
  • genetics
  • genomics
  • history
  • Science

  • One Map that changed our understandings of the foundations of world history.

    When the map of the Human Genome was unveiled, President Clinton compared the moment to another historic unveiling...
    "Nearly two centuries ago, in this room, on this floor, Thomas Jefferson and a trusted aide spread out a magnificent map -- a map Jefferson had long prayed he would get to see in his lifetime. The aide was Meriwether Lewis and the map was the product of his courageous expedition across the American frontier, all the way to the Pacific. It was a map that defined the contours and forever expanded the frontiers of our continent and our imagination.
    Today, the world is joining us here in the East Room to behold a map of even greater significance. We are here to celebrate the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome. Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind."
                                                                                  - President Clinton June 26, 2000

    (Biology - History) Annotation of the Celera Human Gene Assembly
    Celera-Human Genome Project, 2001

         With the acclaimed unraveling of the structure of DNA in the 1950's, by the 1980's there was a push to perhaps document the entire genome of a human being, all 3.2 billion base pairs. It was a tedious process to use Peter Sanger's method to construct the genome of even something small, but it was accurate. A bacteria could take you years to identify each of the thousands of base pairs. But the information gleaned and the potential for mankind was too strong. So in 1990 an array of 20 international laboratories set out to completely annotate the genome of humans in fifteen years, an aggressive schedule that would use 3 billion in public funding and would report their findings within 24 hours.
         But this was also the era of growing computer capacity, accelerating processing speeds, decreasing costs and the time of growing momentum for Silicon Valley and venture capital investing in solutions. Seven years before the completion of the international Human Genome Project, a private company, Celera, brought a radical approach and newly designed machines that could automate the process. The race was on.
         In the end, both the Human Genome Project and Celera finished at about the same time, working to publish the discovery jointly. But prior to the completion, and nearing the finish line, Celera printed this large format chart to illustrate the project at almost 90% completion.
         This large printed chart documents one of man's greatest accomplishments, as we now understand the individual components which make us unique. It may be the last time the majority of the Human Genome is printed in one place, as even at the bottom of this vast chart are online URL addresses by which you can view individual sequences.
         This almost complete personal genetic evaluation is of J. Craig Venter, scientist and innovator, and founder of Celera. While many now point to this as Venter's vanity, it was actually considered a sacrifice at the time. Fearing that disclosing personal DNA would be more identifying than fingerprints, many feared the permanent compromise of personal security that could linger into the future. Venter volunteered and in so doing became the first pin in the map of understanding human evolution and migration. His is the starting point for truly understanding the mechanics of human history.
         And thanks to Moore's law, what cost nations 3 billion dollars to complete in just over a decade to do, can be done for any individual for $100 and just a few weeks.
         This map comes with its original publication of the AAAS Science from 2001, condition is very good, clean, near excellent. Overall size is approximately 56.75 x 40 (inches)