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Decoding the human genome

The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project set out to identify all the functional elements within the human genome. As a result of this large-scale, global collaboration between 440 researchers in 32 labs, 80% of components of the human genome are now associated with at least one biochemical function. Last week ENCODE published their findings in 30 papers, representing a significant advance in understanding about the function of the human genome.

News 17 Sep 2012
DNA by Miki Yoshihito. Flickr, 2008.

The recently-launched Nature ENCODE website brings together these 30 publications from three different journals: Nature, Genome Research and Genome Biology. Users can access individual papers or browse papers by thematic threads using the interactive graphic, Nature ENCODE explorer. The site combines the project outputs with interviews, animations, and articles about the project history, as well as a look at the future directions. There’s also an iPad app.

Prior to publication, ENCODE placed the resulting data sets in several open access databases: ENCODE project portal; the University of California, Santa Cruz genome browser; the National Center for Biotechnology Information; and, the European Bioinformatics Institute.