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Scientists Announce New Human Gene Map

A new map of the human gene pattern has reached the halfway point of identifying the 30,000 markers that can help guide researchers to the location of the approximately 100,000 human genes.

The map was created by researchers at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., and at Genethon in France. It is to be published today in the journal Science.

More than 15,000 landmarks, called sequence tagged sites or STS, have been located on the new gene map. The U.S. Human Genome Project has a goal of mapping 30,000 STS guides by the year 1998.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Center for Human Genome Research at the National Institutes of Health, called the new map “an extraordinary achievement.”

The human genome includes all of the genes that determine specific human characteristics, such as eye color or the susceptibility to disease.