History of the Human Genome Project: The Pseudo-Historical
module begins by dealing with ancient history – the development and completion of the human genome project. Ancient history, in this case, means going ALL THE WAY back to the year 1985, when the idea started. It ends in 2003, when the completion of the project was announced. We will then fast-forward to today, when we are dealing with one of the hottest topics in science: Epigenetics.
So, let’s journey back to the mid-1940’s. You are part of a military team that has just invented “ENIAC”, a machine specifically designed to track and coordinate artillery firing tables. The “C” in the acronym stands for “computer”. Yes, this was the world’s first ever computer. You are admiring what will forever be the greatest invention of our time – the vacuum tube. It was very clear at that time that this device was the “be-all, end-all”, of electricity generators. Nothing better could ever be invented. Some 20,000 of these incredible vacuum tube devices were making ENIAC function. This room-sized computer had the capability of storing almost 500 COMPLETE words – and you ask yourself: whatever will we do with ALL THAT MEMORY? The picture below shows only one corner of ENIAC – imagine the entire machine about three times that size,,,,……………………………….