Human Genome Project
U.S. Department of Energy

HGP Research Area: Bioinformatics

One key research area of the HGP was bioinformatics. Without the annotation provided via bioinformatics, the information gleaned from the HGP is not very useful.

Informatics is the creation, development, and operation of databases and other computing tools to collect, organize, and interpret data.

Continued investment in current and new databases and analytical tools is critical to the future usefulness of HGP data. Databases must adapt to the evolving needs of the scientific community and must allow queries to be answered easily.

Planners suggested developing a human genome database, analogous to model organism databases, that links to phenotypic information. Also envisioned were databases and analytical tools for studying the expanding body of gene-expression and functional data, for modeling complex biological networks and interactions, and for collecting and analyzing sequence-variation data.


Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

  • Improve content and utility of databases.
  • Develop better tools for data generation, capture, and annotation.
  • Develop and improve tools and databases for comprehensive functional studies.
  • Develop and improve tools for representing and analyzing sequence similarity and variation.
  • Create mechanisms to support effective approaches for producing robust, exportable software that can be widely shared.

Text adapted from F. Collins, Ari Patrinos, et al., “New Goals for the U.S. Human Genome Project: 1998–2003,” Science 282: 682-689 (1998). For a more detailed explanation of informatics, see the U.S. DOE Primer on Molecular GeneticsFor more on the project’s goals, see the HGP Goals page.


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