20 years ago, humans first adjusted their genome

En 2001, l'humanité a pour la première fois décrypté son propre ADN. © Oleksandr, Fotolia

20 years ago, humans first discovered the richness and complexity of their genetic heritage. A long-term venture that has monopolized hundreds of researchers for 15 years, but it has changed biology and medicine.

February 15, 2001, first snatch Genome Humans have revealed Famous newspaper Nature. This publication will forever change the history of biology and medicine. For the first time, humanity has its marrow, its ADN And his Genoa. Although incomplete, this is the first Sequencing The human genome requires the work of hundreds of researchers from around the world, all working together in the same consortium: Human Genome Project.

Twentieth anniversary of the publication of the article in Nature It is an opportunity to return to this incredible scientific adventure that began in the late 1970s. Before daring to attack 23 pairs, several researchers tested their sequencing technique to test simple organisms. Chromosomes Of the human genome.

Human Genome Project

It all started in the mid-1980s, when all three scientists had the same awareness. For the discovery of the 1975 Nobel Laureate Renato Dalbeco without consulting each other Oncogenes, Robert Sinsheimer and Charles Delisi of the University of California, Santa Cruz, argue to fill an important gap: the human genome continues to grow deeper and deeper. At that point, sequencing Genetic It is still in its infancy. Scientists rubbed his shoulder with his genome phage X174 and its 5.375 Nucleotides In 1977, to the 1978 SV40 with 5,224 nucleotides. In the early 1980s, scientists achieved further growth by aligning elongated genomes, including phase 2 of 1982 and its 48,502 nucleotides. On the human side, theADN Mitochondrial, Its 16,569 nucleotides pass through the sequencing mill for the first time. The latter 16 genes are identified.

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These first works are the fertile ground for a more ambitious project to be formed in 1985. To create a comprehensive genetic map of the human genome. The Human Genome Project Born in 1988, with him Human Genome Organization (Hugo), responsible for coordinating the efforts of scientists around the world. The project takes 15 years to learn about the human genome, as well as others Model creatures Important in biology and medicine. that’s all National Institute of Health, Its first director Francis Crick, Co-discovery of the dual helix structure of the project-leading DNA.

Scientists in 1995 Human Genome Project Together in Bermuda make a decision to change everything. When the sequencing is complete, it should be available to everyone. Each decrypted sequence must be shared in an Internet database, thus forming an invisible treasure that is the genetic heritage of mankind. Thus, three years before the deadline, the first raw sequences appear in the review Nature What do they say about the abyss that was the human genome at the time?

Draft of the human genome

The first rough map of the human genome actually contains the genetic heritage of several unknown donors. Each donor gave their consent before taking five to ten DNA samples.

To form this genetic map, we first had to cut the DNA into a thousand pieces. Bacterial synthetic chromosomes (BACs) contained fragments of DNA with a base of 100 to 200 kPa formed a large library. It’s like separating and storing each sheet of a book. To reconstruct the book, the BACs were arranged individually, as we read each page of the book, before putting the whole story together before putting them back together. The resulting genetic map includes 4.26 gigabases or 4.26.109 The letters A, T, C or G that follow each other, we have never understood such a long genome!

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Although this is only a draft of the human genome, it has identified important points in our genetic heritage:

  • It contains 30,000 to 40,000 genes, a number still under discussion, but it is now close to 20,000.
  • About half of the human genome is made up of genesChangeable components ;
  • Some of our genes are inherited from horizontal gene transfer Bacteria.

It required two years of work Human genome tweaking, Final sequences Finally published Nature In October 2004. Since then, knowledge about our genes, their effects on diseases, and how they work has been growing. Currently, this is the mapping done Genome Reference Consortium Based on the performance of in 2019 Human Genome Project, Is considered Reference.

Today, artificial intelligence is pushing human genetics backwards as computers can create from scratch. Human genomes that do not match the genetic makeup of any living human being.

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