Scientists launch Encode Project, follow-up to Genome Project - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Scientists launch Encode Project, follow-up to Genome Project

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Researchers in Huntsville are celebrating a historic breakthrough in understanding how human genes work.

The Encode Project is a follow-up to the Titanic Human Genome Project, which mapped our DNA.

The new initiative could now mean new weapons against a long list of diseases. In 2001, the Human Genome Project revealed the alphabet of our genes, a "book of life," but researchers said they still didn't have a complete translation.

Today, researchers released, around the world, what they've discovered since then, what those genes do, what one researcher called a "Google Maps" of human genetics.

"What this project, the Encode Project has done is taken those three billion letters in that book of life and try to decipher as much of it as we possibly can," said Rick Myers, director and president of HudsonAlpha.

Hundreds of scientists have been experimenting to understand how the human genes uncovered in the Human Genome Project actually operate and go wrong.

"I don't think we're that far off from being able to diagnose diseases earlier, much earlier, long before symptoms, use that information to either prevent or stop the disease in its tracks," he said.

Myers said one real genetic miracle has been what has happened to the cost of this kind of research.  A decade ago, the Genome Project wrapped up mapping the DNA of one person at a cost of three billion dollars. Today, that could be done for someone for about eight thousand dollars and that price could go cheaper still.

The results of the "encode" project are now being published around the world as a veritable encyclopedia for researchers to use.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • breaking

    FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY: Snow & ice expected across the Valley

    FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY: Snow & ice expected across the Valley

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 7:11 PM EST2018-01-17 00:11:27 GMT

    The snow will end this evening with much colder temperatures moving in.

    More >>

    The snow will end this evening with much colder temperatures moving in.

    More >>
  • Snow Day in the Valley: January 16, 2018

    Snow Day in the Valley: January 16, 2018

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 12:42 PM EST2018-01-16 17:42:11 GMT
    (Source: Shannon Anderson)(Source: Shannon Anderson)

    School and business closures led to a morning of fun in the snow for some across the Tennessee Valley. These are some of our favorite shots of the day so far. You can send us your own photos/video by posting them to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and including the #WAFF48 tag. Alternatively, you can upload your pictures here: http://pix.waff.com/ Limestone County, Ala. - Commission Turning white at Ingall's Harbor. pic.twitter.com/2fPc270aS5 — Decatur Parks & Rec ...

    More >>

    School and business closures led to a morning of fun in the snow for some across the Tennessee Valley. These are some of our favorite shots of the day so far. You can send us your own photos/video by posting them to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and including the #WAFF48 tag. Alternatively, you can upload your pictures here: http://pix.waff.com/ Limestone County, Ala. - Commission Turning white at Ingall's Harbor. pic.twitter.com/2fPc270aS5 — Decatur Parks & Rec ...

    More >>
  • Teen arrested in Madison hotel shooting

    Teen arrested in Madison hotel shooting

    Monday, January 15 2018 4:38 PM EST2018-01-15 21:38:53 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    Madison police have arrested an 18-year-old in connection to the weekend shooting at Country Inn & Suites on Westchester Drive.

    More >>

    Madison police have arrested an 18-year-old in connection to the weekend shooting at Country Inn & Suites on Westchester Drive.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly