autosomes chromosomes that are not sex determining (not X or Y)
Celera sequenced the genomes of several model organisms with remarkable speed and, in April 2000, announced that it had a preliminary sequence of the human genome.
In order eventually to make a profit, these biotech companies were patenting DNA sequences and intended ultimately to charge clients, including researchers, for access to their databases. This issue of patenting had already caused controversy. Watson felt strongly that the sequence data flowing from the Human Genome Project should remain within the public domain, freely available to all. Meeting opposition to this view, he stepped down from his position as director of the NIH-sponsored project in 1992 and was succeeded by Francis Collins.
Other researchers shared Watson's view, and in 1996 the international consortium of publicly funded laboratories agreed at a meeting in Bermuda to release all data to GenBank, a genome database maintained by NIH. The agreement reached by these scientists came to be known as "The Bermuda Principles," and it mandated that sequence data would be posted on the Internet within 24 hours of acquisition. Because the information is freely available to the public, the sequences can not be patented. The dispute between Celera Genomics and the International Human Genome Consortium continues, as scientists now begin the task of searching the genome for valuable information.
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