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Collins, Venter Share Lead in Biography s Annual Top 10 List

NEW YORK, Dec 28 – Science may have declared the sequencing of the human genome the top scientific advance of 2000, but Biography is honoring the achievements of the personalities behind the accomplishment.

Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, and Craig Venter, president and CSO of Celera Genomics, share the top spot in the annual Biography Magazine Biographies of the Year, the magazine announced Thursday.

In a statement, the magazine called the sequencing of the genome “the biological equivalent of the first steps on the moon, or the splitting of the atom,” and cited the achievement’s healthcare potential. “In the near future we'll be able to detect susceptibilities to certain diseases and prevent their onset, to tailor therapies to an individual, and to possibly curb a host of potentially fatal conditions,” the magazine said.

The two men, known for their competitive relationship, came out ahead of another well-publicized rivalry, presidential candidates George Bush and Al Gore Jr., who share the number-two spot in Biography’s list.

Other winners include Tiger Woods, Vladimir Putin, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Michael J. Fox, J. K. Rowling, Elian Gonzalez, Richard Hatch, and Charles Schulz.

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