Scientists complete the gene puzzle

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The Independent Online
PARIS (Reuter) - French scientists announced a breakthrough to solve the world's most complicated biological jigsaw puzzle, a genetic map of the human body which could help prevent hereditary disease.

Presented in the French Academy of Sciences, the 'first physical map of the human genome' was likened by scientists to Pasteur's discovery in the 19th century of bacteria or to the 1953 breakthrough by Watson and Crick in revealing the double-helix structure of DNA.

'This is a critical first step in the search to locate and characterise disease-causing genes involved in serious hereditary illness,' Francois Gros, a geneticist and secretary of the academy, said.