Retrotransposons: a Balancing Act at the Genome Scale

The Human Genome Project (HGP) began in 1990 and remains one of the most major international biological endeavours of our time. Over the span of 13 years, researchers from 20 different centres across 6 countries, came together and successfully mapped nearly all 3 billion base pairs of the human genome with its approximately 30 000 genes [1]. Accompanying these advancements were the development of new DNA analysis technologies that could be used on massive genome-scale projects. The HGP has since fuelled the discovery of more than 1800 disease genes, and allowed for the development of now more than 2000 tests for various genetic conditions [2].

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