The human genome sequencing project was an ambitious goal, that gained traction with advances in molecular biology in the 1980s. In 1990, Congress (in a more progressive era) funded the project uncertain whether it could be completed on time as proposed. Molecular biology continued to advance, sequencing of DNA was computerized and automated. The speed and accuracy of sequencing increased. As progress accelerated, commercial ventures such as Celera joined the sequencing effort in 1998. By 2003, the original human genome sequence was completed, ahead of schedule and under budget.
The genome project built tremendous momentum and capabilities that could be put to good use. Many of the facilities and funding were kept in place and used to sequence genomes of other species of economic, health or research interest. Today, scientists can for groups to propose an organism for sequencing. The scientist work with core sequencing facilities to interpret the output, identify and map putative genes and compile information.
The genome of the Bed bug, Cimex lectularius, has now been sequenced and published. The genes and other genetic information can be readily accessed and used in a multitude of research projects to provide critical understanding of bed bug biology that may be useful to its management. Already, scientists are finding new information about the proteins that are produced when a bed bug feeds and their role in the processing of food and bed bug growth and development. Basic research work does not directly produce a new control method or technique, but it makes it easier for scientists to look for one.
Genome assembly and geospatial phylogenomics of the bed bug Cimex lectularius.
Jeffrey A. Rosenfeld and Colleagues. Nature Communications 7, Article number: 10164 (2016)