Archives July 2003

Biology has never had it so good the year 2003 marks 50 years of the discovery of the double-helix. 25 years of the world's first test-tube baby and now the complete mapping of the human genome. Imagine translating all that DNA in the estimated 30,000 human genes and it's not difficult to see why biology has finally shrugged off its century-old label of being a descriptive science and become a predictive science in the space of less than a decade. For now that the human genome -- the map of the human species genetic constitution - is complete, biologists can routinely enumerate the genetic alphabet by routinely looking them up from a sort of 'periodic table of life'. Thanks to the efforts of the international consortium of genetic cartographers, it's now possible to identify genes in days rather than in years, although the real challenge will be to move from more...


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