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HGP Submitted Human Genome Paper to Science For Feb. Publication; Nature to Simultaneously Publish Additional Papers

NEW YORK, Dec 12 - The International Human Genome Project has submitted to Science its human genome sequence paper, which is scheduled to be published along with Celera’s genome sequence analysis in a special issue of the magazine due to be released in early February, a source close to the project said Tuesday.

The source, who requested anonymity, said that along with the special Science issue, Nature would simultaneously publish additional papers on the mapping of the human genome.  

“There will be special issues of Science and Nature , to be published at the same time,” the source said. “Mapping papers are to be sent to Nature . Nature will have more mapping while Science will have the analysis of the sequence of genes.”

Kathy Hudson, director of policy and public affairs for the Human Genome Project, neither confirmed nor denied that the papers would be published both in Nature and Science . She did confirm that the public project was submitting two papers that were due to be published in early February.

In response to the comments Barbara Jasny, supervisory senior editor at Science, said that she could not discuss papers that “are (or may be) under consideration” for publication. She did say that authors of the public and private papers have “indicated their agreement to coordinate simultaneous publication.”

Nature previously declined to comment on this matter.

Robert Waterston, Head of the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University St. Louis, said that multiple papers would be submitted to different scientific journals and that they would deal with different aspects of the human genome.

“One [paper] is the generation of the underlying map, the ordering and organization of the sequence,” Waterston said. “Another focuses on how the sequence was obtained and what it means.”

Waterston said the papers would be published in part electronically and partially in print, since the articles are “a little larger than the normal paper.”

Separately, Waterston commented on Celera’s Friday announcement that it would be submitting its sequence data to Science and would only make the data publicly available to researchers through its own website.

“I think it sets an unfortunate precedent,” if you are going to publish information in a paper the information should be unrestricted. The whole scientific community has been very well served by having all DNA sequence data in a single central database where anybody can go regardless of who sequenced it.”

  With additional reporting by Bernadette Toner.

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