"Remarks on the Completion of the First Survey of the Entire Human Genome Project" Clinton, Bill, Blair, Tony, Collins, Francis, and Venter, Craig (2000)
"Remarks on the Completion of the First Survey of the Entire Human Genome Project"
Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Francis Collins, and Craig Venter (2000)
SITE SUMMARY: These remarks, online via the Human Genome Information Web site, and presented at the White House on June 26, 2000, feature comments defining the Human Genome Project and its First Survey, plus what they meant at the time the remarks were given, and what they mean for the future. Featured remarks are by Dr. Francis Collins, co-head of the publicly funded project at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Craig Venter of the Celera Corporation, U.S. President Bill Clinton, and Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
- Venter identified the date of the occasion when these remarks were given as "an historic point in the one hundred thousand year record of humanity." See his remarks, paragraph two, and Collins' remarks, paragraphs four, five, and fourteen. Referring to the reason why Venter made that comment, according to Collins, what milestone and revelation did they celebrate that day? What did eighteenth-century British writer Alexander Pope write that fits the occasion, and in what way? What have we "caught the first glimpse of" that "was previously known only to God"? What did President Clinton say to further describe Collins' statement about catching a glimpse? (Tip: See Clinton's first remarks, paragraph eight, and the first part of paragraph nine.) What did Venter announce, which he saw as marking that "historic point"?
- See Clinton's first remarks, paragraphs four and five. Identify the historic happening, U.S. President, explorer, and product the explorer made that Clinton mentioned. Describe what he said the "product" defined (generally) and the connection he made between what happened at that past time and what happened the day of the remarks. What did Prime Minister Blair contemplate and comment on regarding this subject? (Hint: See Blair's first remarks, paragraph one.) What did Clinton say in his first remarks, paragraph nine, the last part, that agrees "even more" with Blair's comment?
- See Collins' remarks, paragraph nine, and the first sentence of paragraph ten. He mentioned the "sequencing of the human genome." What does this mean? What has an international consortium of scientists done involving it? (Tip: For help, see the Web sites for the Human Genome Project Information, Introduction to the Human Genome Project, the National Human Genome Research Institute—Research, and the National Human Genome Research Institute—In the News. Their urls are cited in the Related Internet Sites section below.) What is the "EST approach" or "expressed sequence tag" that Venter used, according to Collins in his remarks, paragraph eighteen?
- What will researchers in a few years have trouble imagining, according to Collins? (Hint: See his remarks, paragraph fourteen.)
- See Venter's remarks, paragraphs ten, eleven, and seventeen. In paragraph ten, what did he say he learned when he was a young man in the medical corps in Vietnam, what did that experience inspire, what did he realize, and why? In paragraph eleven, what did he say our physiology is based on? In paragraph seventeen, what did he say "the complexities and wonder of how the inanimate chemicals that are our genetic code" "give rise to" and what does this mean for which types of people?
- Keeping Question/Activity no. 5 above in mind, what comparison did Venter draw to make the comment in paragraph eleven clearer? By making this comparison, he used a writing method that is called analogy. (For a definition of analogy, search at the Information Please Dictionary Web site whose url and directions for use are in this book's Appendix F. Search for Comparison or Analogy.) Think of your own analogy or comparison with reference to Venter's comment, and be sure to feature something scientific as your first statement.
- Still keeping Question/Activity no. 5. above in mind, and after finding out what Venter meant in his comment in paragraph seventeen, write something in the way a writer he refers to would write. (Optional help: Check out the Web sites with "Science in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson"; "A Science" (poem no. 100) and "The Brain is" (poem no. 632) by Emily Dickinson; William Blake's "To see a world in a grain of sand"; Walt Whitman's "A Noiseless Patient Spider"; or Marianne Moore's "The Jellyfish." Their urls are cited in this book's Appendix C.)
- Again keeping Question/Activity no. 5 above in mind, identify the comparisons Clinton draws between the discovery announced that day of the remarks and the discoveries of the scientists Galileo, Watson, and Crick (with others). (Hint: See Clinton's first remarks, paragraphs eight, nine, and six.)
- See Venter's remarks, paragraphs four, five, and eleven. He and his team "determined the genetic code" of how many species of living things and human beings? Identify the different human beings he worked with, tell why he choose them, then reveal what he discovered, and give illustrations or examples of all. Which four types of other species did he work with?
- See Collins' remarks, paragraph thirteen, and Venter's remarks, paragraph thirteen (the second part), paragraphs fourteen and fifteen. What, according to Collins, must now be learned, developed, provided, and why? What, according to Venter, is the potential the "genome sequence" represents, will be catalyzed, will be newly developed, may the new knowledge be the basis of, and must be done together? How did Clinton and Blair comment on these subjects? (Hint: See Clinton's first remarks, paragraphs nine, ten, thirteen, and fourteen; his second remarks, paragraph two; Blair's first remarks, paragraph five on a revolution, paragraphs seven through ten, and his second remarks, paragraph two.) Think of and describe examples of two major points mentioned above (i.e., beneficial use, and misuse versus protection).
- See Collins' remarks, paragraph four, and Venter's remarks, paragraph seven. How did Collins define science? What did Venter comment about "The beauty of science"? Think of and tell of your own examples to illustrate each one's comment.
- Referring to "this stunning and humbling achievement" (the reason for the meeting featuring the remarks), what did Clinton say on what has been pooled, tapped, by whom, and where, then what has been revealed? (For help, see his first remarks, paragraph seven.) How did Blair refer to it? (See his first remarks, paragraph six.)
RELATED INTERNET SITE(S)
National Human Genome Research Institute—Human Genome Project—Research
See an overview of the Human Genome Project, then note links to Genome Technology, Functional Analysis of the Genome, Genome Informatics and Computation Biology, Sequences and Maps, plus to educational resources, Newsroom, HGP Reports, Genome Hub of online resources, another overview including HGP history and goals, and more.
Introduction to the Human Genome Project
See introductory information, plus information on What Is the Human Genome Project? A Brief History of the Human Genome Project, Remaining Goals of the HGP, and How the National Human Genome Research Institute Manages the HGP. See also links to HGP Information for Researchers, Online Educational Resources, Fact Sheets on genetic research and background on the NHGRI.
National Human Genome Research Institute—In the News
Featured links are to What Is DNA and Why Is the HGP Studying It? The Book of Life: Reading the Sequence of Human DNA, Media Release, and Twenty Questions About DNA Sequencing (with answers), including What is DNA? What's a genome? How many bases, or letters, are in the human genome? Why do scientists want to sequence the human genome? What is the Human Genome Project's plan for DNA sequencing? What else does the Human Genome Project do? How will scientists benefit from the sequence provided by the Human Genome Project? What does "finishing" the sequence mean? What areas of the sequence will be finished first? What is "quality" sequence? What happens after the genome is sequenced?
NHGRI—Smithsonian Institute—Campus on the Mall Lecture Series
At this Web site, called "A Users Guide to Genetics: Medicine of the Future," sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Institute of Health, and the Smithsonian Institute, see the link to the Dr. Francis Collins Home Page, plus links to Web sites on What Is the Human Genome Project? A New Gene Map of the Human Genome, information about the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), and Internet Resources.
Human Genome Project Information
Featured are the "Science Behind the Human Genome Project"; News Sources; Project Information; About the Human Genome Project; Research (including Research in Progress); Publications (e.g., Human Genome News, A Primer On Molecular Genomics); Medicine and the New Genetics; Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues; Educational Resources; Publications; Topical Fact Sheets; the U.S. Department of Energy Genomics Research Programs; Meetings and Reports; Sitemap; Search; and more. Placing a mouse arrow on a main topic causes a description to appear.
Genetic Science Learning Center at the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics
This center at the University of Utah offers this Web site to "help people understand how genetics affects our lives and society." There are links to controversial features (e.g., on stem cell research and "Pharming for Farmaceuticals"). Other links lead to information on The Basics and Beyond, Genetic Testing of Newborn Infants, Genetic Disorder Center, Bringing RNA into View, and Hands-On Activities for the Classroom and Home.
The Institute for Genomic Research
See links to press releases and articles with titles and summaries under News and Genome News Network. See also links for Genomic Databases, What's New, FAQ, About TIGR, Careers, Education and Training (e.g., a mobile lab designed to enhance high school bioscience curricula), plus to a list of scientific publications, a sitemap, and many related links.
PBS Interview with Francis Collins (2000), conducted by Bob Abernathy
Collins succinctly defines the Human Genome Project; reveals its promise, realistic possibilities, greatest hope; and suggests analogies to describe it. He also notes his great fear about the project, debates on where the project should go, concerns for individuals' genetic profiles, and what might be said about the project one hundred years from now.
"Cooperation Key to Mapping Human Genome" in the Scientist, July 24, 2000
This article by Jennifer Fisher Wilson is based on an interview with the group leader of the Human Genetics Department of Cambridge England's Sanger Centre Wellcome Trust Genome Campus. Details of a Human Genome Map are given, as is a link to more data at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, where clicking the sitemap link leads to links under "Genomes and Maps," "Education" (e.g., a Science Primer), and more.
An Animated Primer on the Basics of DNA, Genes and Heredity
http://vector.cshl.org/dnaftb (click Enter at center, or main subject boxes at right) or www.cshl.org (click DNA Learning Center link, then DNA from the Beginning link)
This detailed and interestingly presented primer, by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Dolan DNA Learning Center, has links to data that explain "the science behind key concepts" with main subjects and their particular subjects, such as Classical Genetics (and e.g., Children Resemble Their Parents), Molecules of Genetics (and e.g., A Gene Is Made of DNA, The DNA Molecule Is Shaped Like a Twisted Ladder), and Genetic Organization and Control (and e.g., Master Genes Control Basic Body Plans, A Genome Is an Entire Set of Genes, Living Things Share Common Genes, DNA Is Only the Beginning for Understanding the Human Genome). Special links are provided to concept; "narrated" animation and biographies featuring the scientists Collins, Venter, and James Watson; problems, gallery, audio video interviews, and links to more information. Note a DNA shaped animated lady presenting factoids. See links to contents pages, an index of people responsible for providing information, and a keyword index.