Genome Revolution by Nature

The 20th anniversary of the publication of the first draft of the human genome offers an opportunity to track how the project has empowered research into the genetic roots of human disease, changed drug discovery and helped to revise the idea of the gene itself. Here we distill these impacts and trends. We combined several data sets to quantify the different types of genetic element that have been discovered and that generated publications, and how the pattern of discovery and publishing has changed over the years. Our analysis linked together data including RNA transcripts; around 1 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs); human diseases with documented genetic roots; approved and experimental pharmaceuticals; and scientific publications between 1900 and 2017.

Our editorial team at Nature worked together with the network research team from Barabasi Lab to create the visualisation. The final product is the narrated video but the visualisation was also used on the magazine cover and featured as an infographic inside the magazine and online.