Scientists have sequenced the entire human genome for the first time

Why it matters: Scientists are confident that the complete picture of the human genome will lead to an even better understanding of human evolution and potentially help pave the way for discoveries in the areas of neurodegenerative diseases, aging, heart disease and cancer. Such discoveries are years away, but at least scientists now have a complete roadmap to work with.

Scientists have finally completed mapping the human genome, a project that has spanned more than two decades in total. If that sounds like déjà vu, there’s a good reason for it.

Immediately after the turn of the century, it was widely reported that the human genome had been completely sequenced. Indeedonly over 92 percent of which was successfully sequenced. The remaining eight percent of the genome, or around 400 million letters, remained a mystery at the time due to technological limitations.

Evan Eichler, a University of Washington researcher who was involved in both the latest work and the original Human Genome Project, called Some of the genes that make us uniquely human were in the missing eight percent.

Karen Miga, author of one of the six studies released this week, described the missing data as large and persistent gaps falling in fairly important regions.

“It took more than 20 years, but we finally made it,” added Eichler.

The team’s work was first shared in preprint last year, but the fully peer-reviewed work is now available in the journal science. Scientists have sequenced the entire human genome for the first time

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