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The Human Pangenome

When the human genome was announced as completed, it wasn’t. The “finished” genome was filled with gaps, and was not representative of humanity’s genetic diversity. Now, the job is being finished and the end is in sight.

Produced in partnership with National Human Genome Research Institute

When biologists created the first-ever human genome sequence, the 3 billion DNA letter sequence, called the reference genome, was mostly made up of DNA from people in the city of Buffalo, New York. So far, when clinicians and researchers study an individual’s genome, they compare it to the reference genome to identify differences. But can you compare all of humanity to one genome? No, because one reference genome does not convey the genomic diversity of the human species. We need many reference genomes — a pangenome. This monumental undertaking is already taking place and is poised to redefine the future of genomic research and human health.

A co-production of Massive Science and NIH/NHGRI.

Presented by the National Human Genome Research Institute

Direction and Animation by Rosanna Wan
Narration by Shawntel Okonkwo

Sound + Music by Skillbard

Script by Harriet Bailey and Prabarna Ganguly

Producer: Harriet Bailey 

Senior Producer: Nadja Oertelt 

Executive Producer: Prabarna Ganguly 

Produced for and supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute