Webcast will ensure broad public access to the UC Santa Cruz Public Forum on Human Genome Research

August 09, 2001

SANTA CRUZ, CA--The University of California, Santa Cruz, will host a public forum on human genome research on Saturday, August 25, featuring a keynote address by Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, and a moderated discussion by a panel of experts. Public interest in this free event has been strong, and most of the advance tickets have already been claimed. For those unable to attend in person, however, a live webcast of the forum will be available online. For more information, visit the web site for the UCSC Human Genome Symposium at http://genomesymposium.ucsc.edu/

The forum will address research on the human genome and its implications for the future of medicine and society. It will take place from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in the Music Center Recital Hall on the UC Santa Cruz campus. All 400 seats in the Recital Hall have been reserved and tickets are going fast for seats in the overflow site, which will have a live link to the Recital Hall.

The forum's panelists will include Collins; Eugene Myers, vice president of informatics research at Celera Genomics; Mary-Claire King, professor of medicine and genetics at the University of Washington; and Robert Sinsheimer, UCSC chancellor emeritus and professor of biology emeritus. National Public Radio science reporter Richard Harris, a UCSC graduate, will serve as moderator.

The public forum is being held in conjunction with a scientific workshop, which will be closed to all but the invited participants. Some of the scientists taking part in the workshop also attended the historic 1985 workshop at UCSC that helped launch the Human Genome Project. The 1985 workshop was organized by Sinsheimer, then chancellor of the UCSC campus. With the completion of a working draft of the human genome sequence in 2000, eminent scientists are gathering again at UCSC to discuss future directions for research on the human genome.

A special art exhibit, Genomic Art: Portrait of the 21st Century, is also being held in conjunction with the Human Genome Symposium. The exhibit is on display at UCSC's Baskin Visual Arts Center through August 27.

The human genome sequence--spelled out in 3.2 billion units of DNA strung together on chromosomes--represents the complete genetic instructions for human life. Deciphering the genome has sparked a revolution in biomedical research, raising hopes for dramatic improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. The genomics revolution also includes research on a broad range of organisms and promises to yield new insights into the biology and diversity of all forms of life.

Major challenges lie ahead, however, as researchers seek to apply the knowledge gained from recent advances in genomics. Key scientific goals include the mapping of human variation; identifying and validating the complete set of human genes; and understanding the diversity of life through genomic analysis of many organisms. These are some of the issues scientists will discuss at the UC Santa Cruz Human Genome Symposium.

Other concerns relate to how the use of genetic information and technology will affect society. From the beginning, the publicly funded Human Genome Project has made every effort to inform the public about its work and to address not only the scientific issues but also the social and ethical issues raised by the project. In the public forum, panelists will address the ethical, legal, and privacy issues associated with genome research, as well as its anticipated benefits in medicine and other areas.

Although the bulk of the work on the Human Genome Project has been performed elsewhere, researchers at UCSC played a crucial role in assembling the genome sequence, and they continue to have a major role in the ongoing analysis of the human genome. UCSC's participation in the project is led by David Haussler, professor of computer science at UCSC and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

UCSC was the first site to post the assembled human genome sequence on the web, distributing it freely without any restrictions on use (see http://genome.ucsc.edu). The UCSC webservers currently process more than 50,000 requests for information each day from biomedical researchers worldwide who want to explore the assembled genome sequence.

Haussler and other UCSC researchers continue to work on the analysis of the human genome sequence and the ongoing task of filling in gaps and updating the assembled sequence as new data become available. Their work includes comparing the human genome to the genomes of other organisms to better understand how DNA orchestrates the activities within our living cells.
-end-
This release is available electronically at the following web site: http://press.ucsc.edu

University of California - Santa Cruz

Related Genome Articles from Brightsurf:

Genome evolution goes digital
Dr. Alan Herbert from InsideOutBio describes ground-breaking research in a paper published online by Royal Society Open Science.

Breakthrough in genome visualization
Kadir Dede and Dr. Enno Ohlebusch at Ulm University in Germany have devised a method for constructing pan-genome subgraphs at different granularities without having to wait hours and days on end for the software to process the entire genome.

Sturgeon genome sequenced
Sturgeons lived on earth already 300 million years ago and yet their external appearance seems to have undergone very little change.

A sea monster's genome
The giant squid is an elusive giant, but its secrets are about to be revealed.

Deciphering the walnut genome
New research could provide a major boost to the state's growing $1.6 billion walnut industry by making it easier to breed walnut trees better equipped to combat the soil-borne pathogens that now plague many of California's 4,800 growers.

Illuminating the genome
Development of a new molecular visualisation method, RNA-guided endonuclease -- in situ labelling (RGEN-ISL) for the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated labelling of genomic sequences in nuclei and chromosomes.

A genome under influence
References form the basis of our comprehension of the world: they enable us to measure the height of our children or the efficiency of a drug.

How a virus destabilizes the genome
New insights into how Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) induces genome instability and promotes cell proliferation could lead to the development of novel antiviral therapies for KSHV-associated cancers, according to a study published Sept.

Better genome editing
Reich Group researchers develop a more efficient and precise method of in-cell genome editing.

Unlocking the genome
A team led by Prof. Stein Aerts (VIB-KU Leuven) uncovers how access to relevant DNA regions is orchestrated in epithelial cells.

Read More: Genome News and Genome Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.