As far as great projects go, it's hard to top the Human Genome Project (HGP). Still the largest collaborative biological endeavor in history, it has given us the first complete look at the blueprint for building human beings, and with that knowledge, it's hard to think of anything that is contributing more to human health in our modern world.
This infographic from Microsoft Project's series, Great Projects, explores the original plan for the HGP, details about our genome and its similarity to other animals, and what we can expect to see in the future from the massive store of data we now have at our fingertips.
Since the genome was completely mapped in 2003, thousands of benefits have been directly derived from the project. These range from the discovery of the gene that causes Parkinson's disease; to the ability to quickly test for predisposition to a variety of illnesses (like breast cancer and cystic fibrosis); to new insights on our evolutionary history. It's also contributing to a host of biotechnology products, considered to be a multibillion dollar industry... not bad for a project that only cost $2.7 billion!
What else will the Human Genome Project change about our understanding of the human body and its inner workings? Click here or the graphic below for a full-sized view of the graphic.