The main goals of the Human Genome Project were to provide a complete and accurate sequence of the 3 billion DNA base pairs that make up the human genome and to find all of the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 human genes. The Project also aimed to sequence the genomes of several other organisms that are important to medical research, such as the mouse and the fruit fly.

In addition to sequencing DNA, the Human Genome Project sought to develop new tools to obtain and analyze the data and to make this information widely available. Also, because advances in genetics have consequences for individuals and society, the Human Genome Project committed to exploring the consequences of genomic research through its Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) program.

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  • NLM National Library of Medicine