One of the primary goals of the Human Genome Project's 1993 five-year plan was to complete a detailed genetic map of the human genome by 1995. Genetic mapping was a critical early step in the hunt for disease genes - allowing researchers to find on which chromosome a gene lies and approximately where in that chromosome. The idea behind a genetic map is that if a particular genetic marker is inherited with a disease gene, the gene likely resides near the genetic marker. The more markers a genetic map contains, the higher is the likelihood that a marker will exist near a particular gene.
Researchers completed the genetic mapping goal one year ahead of schedule, and the map was denser (had more markers) than originally proposed. It had nearly 6,000 markers, with markers spaced an average of 700,000 base pairs apart. This was the first major goal of the Human Genome Project to be completed.
Murray, J.C., Buetow, K.H., Weber, J.L., Ludwigsen, S., Scherpbier-Heddema, T., Manion, F., Quillen, J., et al. A comprehensive human linkage map with centimorgan density. Cooperative Human Linkage Center (CHLC). Science, 265:2049-54. 1994. [PubMed]
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