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Strategic plans go back a long way in the genomics field. The first plan mapped the path for sequencing the human genome, followed by slight recalibrations as the work and technology advanced. The next big plan centered on what to do after the human genome was completed. That, National Human Genome Research Institute Director Eric Green says, "served the field well," though it eventually became dated. "We looked at it and said, 'Wow, it's getting a little gray,'" Green says. "Once again, technology — sequencing in particular — has advanced much more than we ever anticipated.

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