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The human genome project explained

Basil Safwat

Genome Biology 2000, 1:reports215  doi:10.1186/gb-2000-1-1-reports215

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received:4 November 1999
Published:17 March 2000

© 2000 BioMed Central Ltd


This online version of a US Department of Energy publication provides detailed background information about the human genome project. The site would be useful for undergraduates and researchers looking for background information on genome sequencing technologies. It is authoritative and covers a lot of ground, including sequencing and mapping technologies and informatics. It touches on the impact of human genome sequencing on medicine and biological research. There is a particularly good glossary, and the 44-page publication can be downloaded in PDF format.


The site has a straightforward two-tiered structure, and it is very easy to find your way to the section you are interested in. A 'next page' button at the bottom of each page makes movement through the site easy. But the glossary link is not a direct one and first takes you to a blank intermediate page, and there is no search facility.

Reporter's comments


The booklet was published in June 1992 and the website was last updated in June 1997.

Worst feature

The booklet has been transferred directly onto the website and so does not take advantage of being published online The graphics are of poor quality, both esthetically and as explanations of the text, and are taken directly from the paper publication.

Wish list

A search facility would be helpful, as would some color images.

Related websites

Introductory information on genetics is also provided by Blazing a genetic trail and To know ourselves.

Table of links

Assumptions made about all sites unless otherwise specified:
The site is free, in English and no registration is required. It is relatively quick to download, can be navigated by an 'intermediate' user, and no problems with connection were found. The site does not stipulate that any particular browser be used and no special software/plug-ins are required to view the site. There are relatively few gratuitous images and each page has its own URL, allowing it to be bookmarked.