The assembly of the human genome sequence revealed that there are 3.2 billion bases in our genome, but what was less clear at the time was how this vast amount of information was organised and expressed to ensure that a single-celled zygote was able to develop into a fully functioning human body. The ENCODE project began the quest to identify and assign function to different elements within the genome and the Roadmap Epigenome Project has continued this journey by mapping chemical modifications such as DNA methylation, which are known to affect gene expression. Understanding these elements and processes in greater depth will allow us to learn more about how we became who we are and what differentiates humans from other animals.

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