Scientists, politicians and other notable people share their recollections and insights on the Human Genome Project in a series of four documentaries produced by HISTORY®.
From Rosalind Franklin’s X-ray images, through Watson & Crick’s discovery of the double-helix, the elegant but simple DNA molecule has captivated scientists and non-scientists alike since the 1950s. Facing the challenge of sequencing the 3 billion nucleotides of the human genome, who was going to lead the way?
Sequencing the first Human Genome
As public and private sectors raced to sequence the human genome, their work was accelerated by the International Human Genome Project’s commitment to share data freely every day. In June 2000, President Clinton recognized the first draft of the human genome sequence as “the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind.”
Making Sense of the Human Genome
Every human shares 99.9% of the same letters of the DNA code, but the tiny differences that make us individuals also form a beautiful continuum – breaking down traditional notions of race. And would it surprise you to know that humans have around 20,000 genes, while rice has more than 50,000?
Visions of the Future
Someday soon, people may carry cards bearing their genome profiles; have genes sequenced at birth, at maturity, and in old age; and use genetic testing to understand and design treatments for medical conditions. Yet genes are not our destiny, and there is still much to learn about DNA and how it shapes our lives.
This video series was produced by HISTORY®.