The biggest map to date of human genes can now be seen on the Internet.
This map, also published today in the journal Science, pinpoints the locations of 16,000 genes packed onto the body's chromosomes.
Doctors know what about only one-fourth of these genes actually do, and they still are hunting for the rest of the body's 80,000 to 100,000 genes.
But the government predicted that the map, created by 104 scientists on three continents, will help researchers hunting the genetic cause of a particular disease to find the culprit faster.
The Human Genome Project hopes eventually to pinpoint and fully identify all the 80,000 to 100,000 genes along the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a human cell.
That project is the federal government's massive effort to identify the full set of genetic instructions inside a human cell.
The free Internet site is for both scientist and layman, said Dr. Thomas Hudson of Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass.
Consumers using the Internet can read information known about a particular gene. The Internet address is http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/SCIENCE96/