Progress, and Applications
of the Human Genome Project
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program
Human Genome News Archive Edition
In this issue...
Also available in pdf.
1997 Santa Fe Highlights
In the News
Web Site Provides HGP Access to Scientific and Public Audiences
The Human Genome Management Information System (HGMIS) was established in 1989 by the DOE Human Genome Program Task Group to inform scientists, policymakers, and the public about the program's research. To make Human Genome Project (HGP) data, technologies, and implications more accessible, HGMIS produces Human Genome News and a number of other information resources.
Sites for Different Audiences
To address the growing interests of a population beginning to realize the societal impact of genetic research while continuing to meet the needs of the broad scientific community, HGMIS divided its Web site into two sections in January. One section is targeted to the general public and the other to researchers, but all users still have easy access to both sections.
The decision to split the Web site was based on an evaluation of user needs. HGMIS considered a user survey; the types of domains accessing the site; and user questions, a large number of which were from students seeking basic facts. Content and ease of access for the public and researchers were crucial considerations in the site's renovation. In addition to providing informative text, this comprehensive site about HGP also serves as a launch pad to myriad related sites.
The HGMIS site, which contains 1800 text files, has received numerous awards and has been listed by several exclusive Web rating systems. Some 2400 outside sites link to the site, whose files are accessed by about 17,000 host computers each month for about 2 million file transfers annually. HGMIS has adapted its design to accommodate as many users as possible.
The public section, Human Genome Project Information, emphasizes materials to facilitate public knowledge about genetics. The site includes project history; recent developments and discoveries; ethical, legal, and social issues; information for people with genetic conditions; educational materials; and resources for teaching high school and college classes. HGMIS reviewed questions and comments over the previous year for commonalities to develop two new files: Human Genome Project (HGP) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and QuikFact Finder. These pages, which answer many routine questions once fielded individually by HGMIS staff, are proving very popular with students and newcomers to the project.
To contribute to its user-friendly stance, the public-oriented section takes a less formal tone and avoids jargon where possible. Much of the material has been reorganized to target such specific groups as teachers and students.
The backbone of the technical section, Human Genome Project Information: Research in Progress, comprises the pages that categorize files by such subject areas as Mapping; Sequencing; Informatics; Instrumentation; and Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues. These pages, developed in a previous remodeling, provide general information and link directly to current research abstracts, HGN articles, and Web resources related to the subject area. In addition, the research section contains HGP publications, conference and workshop listings, funding and training opportunities, and links to the larger genome community.
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Last modified: Wednesday, October 29, 2003
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