Progress in Technology
When the Human Genome Project began in 1990, scientists predicted that it would take fifteen years to complete. At that time, the first automated sequencer was extremely slow. As a result, most of the sequencing work was performed manually.
Today, the BCM-HGSC performs in one day the same amount of DNA sequencing that would have taken months to complete in 2004. Automation of the DNA sequencing process and the availability of faster, more efficient technology have allowed major advances in the project.
The implementation of new technology has many benefits but also presents many new challenges. Tracking larger quantities of DNA samples and research data requires the use of advanced bioinformatics technology. The BCM-HGSC is currently involved in developing the next generation of automation, DNA sequencing, and bioinformatics technologies that will allow greater scientific advances in the future.