The sequencing of the human genome drove home the discovery that genes were just a small part of our total DNA—what made up much of the rest remained a big mystery. Now, a massive international project has begun to solve this mystery and bring us closer to understanding the links between genetics and disease. What is this other DNA doing? How much of the genome do we now understand? How can researchers use this information to understand disease better?
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Ewan Birney is associate director of the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). He is one of the founders of the Ensembl genome browser and other databases, and has played a key role in many large-scale genomics projects, notably the sequencing of the human genome in 2000 and the analysis of genome function in the ENCODE project.
John Stamatoyannopoulos is an associate professor of genome sciences and medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Stamatoyannopoulos's lab focuses on understanding the regulatory circuitry of the human genome and those of major model organisms, and the genetic basis of common human diseases and traits.
Liz writes about biology, focusing primarily on genomics, evolution, microbiology, and organismal biology, with a smattering of ecology and behavior thrown in.