It was a "day for the ages" according to US President Bill Clinton. On June 26, 2000, Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Francis Collins, J. Craig Venter, and others gathered in the East Room of the White House to announce the "completion" of the draft human genome sequence.
It had been a long slog. The project had been announced in 1988 by James Watson, then director of NIH's Office of Human Genome Research, who said it could be done by 2005 and for $3 billion. With the dueling efforts of the public consortium and the private company Celera, the genome arrived early, under budget, and with much fanfare. "But today's historic achievement is only a starting point. There is much hard work yet to be done," Clinton said in the East Room.
A few short months later, in September 2000, the first issue of Genome Technology rolled off the presses and the magazine was there to chronicle the coming hard work, achievements, and blunders that followed. Indeed, GT has been there for the advent of next-generation sequencers, multiple funding cuts, the rise of direct-to-consumer genetic testing, and more. And we'll be here for the next big changes, too.
In this issue, GT looks at the difficulty in getting biomarkers to be used in the clinic. In the cover story, Tracy Vence reports that the challenges are not just biological or technological, but also regulatory. Elsewhere in the issue, GT gets into biofuels and how researchers and biotech companies are aiming to have them take over from oil, and delves into the sample prep issues that hound researchers who are tackling ancient DNA and protein samples.
All in all, happy 10th birthday, Genome Technology. Special thanks to you, our readers, for making these 10 years possible. As Tony Blair said about the sequencing of the human genome that day in the East Room: "Nothing better demonstrates the way technology and science are driving us — fast-forwarding us — all into the future."
Corrections: A Marker last month incorrectly stated that the Lee et al. paper was published in Science; it appeared in Nature. Also, the Journal Roundup misspelled Bart H.J. van den Berg's last name.