Celera Genomics: The Race for the Human Genome Sequence

Abstract

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

References

Adams MD, Kelley JM, Gocayne JD, et al. (1991) Complementary DNA sequencing: expressed sequence tags and Human Genome Project. Science 252: 1651–1656.

Andrews EL (1991) US seeks patent on genetic codes, setting off furor. New York Times 21 October: A1ff.

Editorial (1996) International large‐scale sequencing meeting. Human Genome News. 7(6): April–June. Oak Ridge, TN: US Department of Energy (see also Web Links).

Fortun MA (1999) Projecting speed genomics. In: Fortun MA and Mendelsohn E (eds.) Practices of Human Genetics: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook, vol. 19, pp. 25–48. Boston, MA: Kluwer.

Gillis J (2000) Gene‐mapping controversy escalates. Washington Post 7 March: E1.

Gorner P and Van J (2000) Now, Celera begins job of selling itself. Chicago Tribune 28 June.

International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium (2001) Initial sequencing and analysis of the human genome. Nature 409: 860–921.

Kolata G (1992) Biologist's speedy gene method scares peers but gains backer. New York Times 28 July: C1ff.

Philipkoski K (2000) Investors sue Celera. Wired News 19 May (see also Web Links).

Preston R (2000) The genome warrior. The New Yorker 12 June: 66–83.

Roberts L (1991) OSTP to wade into gene patent quagmire. Science 254: 1104–1105.

Roberts L (1992) NIH gene patents, round two. Science 255: 912–913.

US Senate (1987a) Workshop on Human Gene Mapping. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, August 1987 (100th Congress, 1st session, S. Prt. 100‐71).

US Senate (1987b) Department of Energy National Laboratory Cooperative Research Initiatives Act. Subcommittee on Energy Research and Development, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, September 15 and 17, 1987 (100th Congress, 1st session, S. Hrg. 100‐602).

Veggeberg S (1992) Controversy mounts over gene patenting policy. The Scientist 27 April: 1ff.

Venter JC, Adams MD, Myers EW, et al. (2001) The sequence of the human genome. Science 291: 1304.

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

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
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]