The first phase of HMP was focused on the development of DNA sequence datasets and computational tools for characterizing the microbiome in healthy adults and in people specific microbiome-associated diseases. An Ethical, Legal and Societal Implications (ELSI) program was also created to address the new and unexplored issues which arise from human microbiome research. The second phase of HMP, integrative HMP or iHMP, is focused on creating integrated datasets of multiple biological properties from both the microbiome and the host over time in specific microbiome associated diseases. The long-term objective of iHMP is to develop datasets and tools that the community can use to evaluate which biological properties of the microbiome and host will yield important new insights in understanding human health and disease. More information about the iHMP program can be found here or by visiting the iHMP website .
Historically, when sequencing eukaryotic genomes (such as the worm Caenorhabditis elegans ) it was common to first map the genome to provide a series of landmarks across the genome. Rather than sequence a chromosome in one go, it would be sequenced piece by piece (with the prior knowledge of approximately where that piece is located on the larger chromosome). Changes in technology and in particular improvements to the processing power of computers, means that genomes can now be ' shotgun sequenced ' in one go (there are caveats to this approach though when compared to the traditional approach).
The results of the chimpanzee genome project suggest that when ancestral chromosomes 2A and 2B fused to produce human chromosome 2, no genes were lost from the fused ends of 2A and 2B. At the site of fusion, there are approximately 150,000 base pairs of sequence not found in chimpanzee chromosomes 2A and 2B. Additional linked copies of the PGML/FOXD/CBWD genes exist elsewhere in the human genome, particularly near the p end of chromosome 9 . This suggests that a copy of these genes may have been added to the end of the ancestral 2A or 2B prior to the fusion event. It remains to be determined if these inserted genes confer a selective advantage.