Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Genome

Posted by Elyse Bruce on September 2, 2010

A genome is all the genetic information including hereditary material possessed by an organism.  People and other higher animals have two genomes — the chromosomal genome and the mitochondrial genome — which make up the total genome. In other words, a genome is the total genetic content of an organism.

The word genome dates to 1930. It was cobbled from the German Gen, gene + –om (from the Greek soma, body).

In the 1990s, genome went from being a highly specialized term not even in much usage in genetics to a word that is now in common general currency. As with all revolutions, the Genetics Revolution has ushered in a revolution in words.

The Genome Database (GDB) is the official central repository for genomic mapping data resulting from the Human Genome Initiative.  It was established at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1990.

In 1999, the Bioinformatics Supercomputing Centre (BiSC) at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario assumed the management of GDB. The Human Genome Initiative is a worldwide research effort to analyze the structure of human DNA and determine the location and sequence of the estimated 100,000 human genes.

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One Response to “Genome”

  1. Excellent. I learn more from your posts every day. DO you know the results of the human genome experiment? They were just recently relesed and they were surprisng to everyone involved as their predictions were way off… You certainly have a way with words…

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