The public Human Genome Project's DNA donors, Eric Lander

Interviewee: Eric Lander. Eric Lander, director of the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research, explains where the DNA donors for the first reference sequence came from. (DNAi Location: Genome > The Project > Players > Public consortium > The public's DNA donors)

The individuals sequenced for the Human Genome Project largely came from Buffalo, New York. Why did we sequence folks from Buffalo, New York? Well, you know, on one hand Buffalo is as good as anywhere, and on the other hand the person who actually made the high quality DNA libraries that we were sequencing, he had his lab in Buffalo. And so the advertising and the informed consent process to select a large number of people and to choose at random amongst them in a coded fashion, was best done in Buffalo, so at the end of the day the most I can say is it's some folks from Buffalo, or somebody vacationing in Buffalo. Anybody passing through Buffalo could easily have signed up and I think that's the point, the human genome stands for all of us, we all have virtually the same genome, and it's just as well that it's some anonymous person, maybe a tourist in Buffalo.

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