Techniques to read the sequence of DNA, letter by letter, have been available since the 1970s. However, the massive task of sequencing the three billion basepairs of the human genome required machines that could read and interpret the data.
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Two sequencing techniques were developed independently in the 1970s. The method developed by Fred Sanger used chemically altered "dideoxy" bases to terminate newly synthesized DNA fragments at specific bases (either A, C, T, or G). These fragments are th