Final human genome sequence released
This time it is the real thing, scientists promise - the complete sequence of human DNA, as perfectly rendered as it ever will be.But as they've already observed, humans have significantly lesser number of genes than was earlier thought.
"What we've got now is what we'll have for all eternity," says Francis Collins, director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute and the head of the consortium of 16 international institutions that collaborated to sequence the code. [link via Slashdot]
While past estimates varied up to 140,000, two international scientific teams have now shown the true number is between 27,000 and 40,000.
"The small number of genes is significant [because it means] we're not hard-wired," says Craig Venter, head of one team at the private company Celera.
"People think genes are an absolute cause of traits. But the notion that the genome is the blueprint for humanity is a very bad metaphor," he says. If you think we're hard-wired and deterministic, there should indeed be a lot more genes."