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Good science starts with a hypothesis. But the human genome project didn’t have one

By Philip Ball   June 2010

The devil is in the detail: a circular computer “scanner” reads sections of DNA at the California Institute of Technology

Ten years ago, the first draft of the sequence of the human genome was heralded as the dawn of a new era of genetic medicine. According to Francis Collins, leader of the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium (IHGSC) and now head of the US National Institutes of Health, the knowledge gained by the sequencing effort would eventually allow doctors to tailor cures to a patient’s individual genetic profile—a vision he suggested could become reality by 2010.

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