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Claim HumDNA - Human DNA sequence announced

Category: Science & Technology:Medicine, Biochemistry JUDGED at 54
Owner:396, rwdaniel
Judge:73, Karl Hallowell
due date:2005/03/01

The Claim

This is a scaled claim with the payoff depending on the date CNN announces that a complete DNA sequence for the human genome has been determined.

The payoff for YES coupons is ((year-2001)*12+(month-1))*2. For example, if the announcement is anytime in Jan 2001 or before, YES coupons pay 0. If it happens anytime in Mar 2005 or after, YES coupons pay 100 cents.

It is expected that the sequence will contain errors; this is not important to the claim. What matters is that a complete sequence is available to be error-checked.

If CNN goes out of business, the judge will select another respectable media source.

The time zone used to determine the date will be GMT.

Don't confuse the sequence with genetic or physical maps. The DNA sequence consists of a list of about 3*10**9 base pairs.


Judge's Statement

April 3, 2003:

Looks like the claim is almost finished. From this NIH press release:

NHGRI and DOE will also hold a news conference, tentatively scheduled for 11:30 a.m., EST on April 14, [2003] to announce the finished sequence of the human genome and the publication of a bold new vision for the future of genomics research.

June 4, 2001:

The definition of a complete sequencing of DNA is as follows: 99% of the human genome has been sequenced with a stated error rate of no more than 1 per 10,000 bases. Further the data must be publically available in full (a large fee may be charged) to satisfy the error-checking criteria of the claim. Basically, the "finished, high-quality" sequence will be what is required. The data may later be published in some form or to a science journal, but this is irrelevant to the claim.

Finally, CNN reporters have reported that the Human Genome has been "completely sequenced" several times over the past year. However, they have been contradicted by other CNN reporters. The latest status is that a draft of 90% of the human genome has been published in February 2001. This particular news was announced in June 2000. As of February 11, 2001, the "finished" portion of the human genome was 32.5%. It has since grown to 47.6%.

There is a highly repetitive portion of the genome which makes it hard to sequence. This provides the largest obstacle to completing the sequencing as discussed above.

Finally, this is a radical departure from my previous statements on this matter. The Human Genome Project has outlined its goal for a complete, high-quality sequence (by 2003 incidentally) in its five year plan. No other goal fills the requirement that the sequencing be "complete".

June 23, 2000:

It sounds like HumDNA may be close to judgement. I will wait, of course, for the real announcement (and verification from CNN) before judging this claim. If the Human Genome is completely sequenced (errors are allowed) before January 2001, then the claim will be judged at 0. This is meant to be a heads-up for people invested in the claim.

Here is a relevant news article from CNN.

The Market

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