In 1990, the USA initiated an international effort, the Human Genome Project, to determine the complete sequence of the three billion pairs that constitute the 23 chromosomes of human cells and to identify the 100,000 or so genes that define the human species. The year 2005 was established as the target date for completion. A map produced in 1996 by French and American scientists pinpoints 5,264 markers to help scientists work out the human genome. The development of the genome map is expected to provide invaluable help to scientists working on the more than 3,000 hereditary diseases known to science.
1. The sequencing of the human genome has been marked by competition between scientists working in the public domain (supported mainly by the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. and the Wellcome Trust in the U.K.) and a private company, Celera Genomics.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.