VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
DNA sequencing supercomputers. Technician with supercomputers used in human genome research at Celera Genomics, Maryland, USA, a rival to the Human Genome Project. Celera aims to sequence all human genes by 2001. Genes are lengths of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) which perform specific tasks within an organism. Human DNA contains over 100,000 genes, with over 3 billion base pairs. Celera sequences tiny fragments of DNA and uses supercomputers to put the pieces together. This is a cruder but faster method than that used by the publicly-funded Human Genome Project. The complete human genome map will allow improved drug design and a greater understanding of genetic diseases.
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