, Volume 14, Issue 11, pp 801-802
Date: 11 Oct 2012

Clinical implications of the ENCODE project

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The first results of the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) project have been recently presented in 30 articles published in Nature, Genome Research and Genome Biology (see for example the article published in Nature 489, pp 57–74, by the ENCODE Project Consortium, related articles in the same issue of Nature and references therein). These articles present the results obtained by the collaborative work of 32 research groups and more than 440 scientists during the last 5 years. The ENCODE project arose as a consequence of the human genome sequence published 11 years ago. Analyses of the human DNA genome showed that only 1.2 % of the nucleotides coded for about 20,000 proteins present in our organism and opened the intriguing question of what is the function of the remaining 98.8 % of the DNA. The ENCODE project was aimed to answer this fundamental question and now reports the biochemical function for 80 % of the genome. It is remarkable that most of the regions characterized particip