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The Human Pangenome

In 2003, biologists created the first ever human genome sequence. The 3 billion DNA letter sequence, called the reference genome, was mostly made up of DNA donated from people in the city of Buffalo, New York. So far, when clinicians and researchers study an individual’s genome, they compare it to the reference genome to identify differences. But can you compare all of humanity to one genome? No, because one reference genome does not convey the genomic diversity of the human species. We need many reference genomes--a pangenome. This monumental undertaking is already taking place and is poised to redefine the future of genomic research and human health. Watch “The Human Pangenome,” a collaboration between The National Human Genome Research Institute and the science media company Massive Science, stemming from a shared belief in showcasing an emerging and vital effort in genomics--one that will impact every one of us.