Humbled by the genome's mysteries

Abstract
Two groups of researchers released the formal report of data for the human genome last Monday -- on the birthday of Charles Darwin, who jump-started our biological understanding of life's nature and evolution when he published ''The Origin of Species'' in 1859. On Tuesday, and for only the second time in 35 years of teaching, I dropped my intended schedule -- to discuss the importance of this work with my undergraduate course on the history of life. (The only other case, in a distant age of the late 60's, fell a half-hour after radical students had seized University Hall and physically ejected the deans; this time at least, I told my students, the reason for the change lay squarely within the subject matter of the course!).
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