Celera Genomics: The Race for the Human Genome Sequence


The Human Genome Project always embodied multiple tensions, if not contradictions: public science and funding that seeded private sector initiatives, collaborative data sharing coexisting with competition and ownership, deliberative science and high‐throughput technological production. The events leading to the early completion of the human genome sequence, involving the corporation Celera Genomics and the public International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium, illuminate in miniature the productive but at times volatile tensions of the public‐cum‐private efforts over 10 years to map and sequence the genomes of multiple organisms.

Keywords: Human Genome Project; EST; shotgun sequencing strategies; patents; data management; political economy, cDNA


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Further Reading

Cook‐Deegan R (1994) The Gene Wars: Science, Politics, and the Human Genome. New York: WW Norton.

Davies K (2001) Cracking the Genome: Inside the Race to Unlock Human DNA. New York: Free Press.

Doyle R (1997) On Beyond Living: Rhetorical Transformations of the Life Sciences. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.

Web Links

Human Genome News archive edition. International large‐scale sequencing meeting http://www.ornl.gov/hgmis/publicat/hgn/v7n6/19intern.html

Wired News. ‘Investors sue Celera’, an article by Kirsten Philipkoski http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,36462.00.html

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Fortun, Michael A(Jul 2006) Celera Genomics: The Race for the Human Genome Sequence. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005182]