In the spring of 2000, the complete sequence of the genetic information that is required to produce and maintain human life was largly finished. It was in effect a parts manual, but what did it tell us about ourselves? This information told us a little about who we are and more about where we came from. Over the past three years we have gained new insights into the relatedness of humans and monkies, mice, flies, worms and yeast, enriching the new field of comparative genomics. The theme that emerges is how similar we all are, and just how closely related all humans are to each other. Even so the millions of differences between any two human beings are now being identified and the consequences of these differences studied to elucidate the genetic bases of individuality in diseases and other traits. The future of this research effort will hold many surprises and new insights.
|Arnold J. Levine, Ph.D., former president of The Rockefeller University, is a leading authority on the molecular basis of cancer and co-discoverer of the p53 tumor suppressor protein, one of the body's most important defenses against many forms of cancer. Dr. Levine is currently a visiting professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Levine was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1991 and to its Institute of Medicine in 1995. In April 2001, Levine received the first Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, the largest annual prize in science or medicine offered in the United States. The prize honors a physician or scientist whose work has led to significant advances in health care and scientific research.|
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