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20 Years On

It's been 20 years since the Human Genome Project was declared done, and the Economist writes that that announcement was only the beginning. In the years since, because of that work, it says biology and medicine have been changed.

"Genomics is now so embedded in biology that it is hard to recall what things were like before it," the Economist says.

It notes that it cost billions of dollars to sequence the first human genomes, but that it now only costs a few hundred dollars. It adds that biobanks to store sequence data alongside individuals' medical history and other data have since been established to help power academic and other studies, while private companies have popped up to do the sequencing.

The changes, it writes, go beyond medical biology as new approaches for agriculture and selective breeding of livestock and crops have also emerged. Similarly, it has also enabled researchers to take a look back in time to study extinct humans like Neanderthals and Denisovans and tease out their influences on modern humans.