In September 1996, researchers described how they had generated and analyzed 280,000 expressed sequence tags (or ESTs). ESTs are small snatches of sequence copied from mRNA molecules. As such, they represent fragments of genes.
The total of 280,000 ESTs far exceeds the likely number of genes in the human genome. (Estimates for the total number of genes vary, but in Spring 2000, gene researchers' average guess was around 60,000.) A given gene can give rise to several ESTs.
Hillier, L.D., Lennon, G., Becker, M., Bonaldo, M.F., Chiapelli, B., Chissoe, S., Dietrich, N., et al. Generation and analysis of 280,000 human expressed sequence tags. Genome Res, 6: 807-28. 1996. [PubMed]
Last Reviewed: May 9, 2013