Title: Sanger Centre reception with ticket tape display | Credit: Genome Research Ltd

Immediate data release

Photograph | Human Genome Project

A key tenet of the Human Genome Project was the immediate release and sharing of data. Each day at the Sanger Institute sequence data was prepared and sent to the European Bioinformatics Institute overnight for release within 24 hours.

John Sulston had the idea of broadcasting data as it became known. This ticker tape screen was mounted in the reception of the Sanger Centre and a day’s worth of sequence data was prepared at the end of one day and scrolled on the next day. Today a human genome can be sequenced in hours and the sheer quantity of new code sequenced on campus would be a blur on the screen!