Karen Miga Fills In the Missing Pieces of Our Genome

The geneticist Karen Miga, a leader of the Telomere-to-Telomere sequencing consortium, is intrigued by vital regions of our DNA that defied earlier efforts. Photo-illustration: Quanta Magazine; photo: Constanza Hevia for Quanta Magazine

Driven by her fascination with highly repetitive, hard-to-read parts of our DNA, Karen Miga led a coalition of researchers to finish sequencing the human genome after almost two decades.

Carrie Arnold | Quanta Magazine | September 08, 2021

In 1990, an international team of scientists began an ambitious attempt to sequence the human genome. By 2001 the Human Genome Project (HGP) had prepared a rough draft, and in April 2003, the draft sequence was declared finished. But Karen Miga, a geneticist now at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the associate director of the UCSC Genomics Institute, knew that while the work might have wrapped up, the sequencing was far from complete.

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