The programme unveils flies with legs on their heads; reveals that we are made of the same stuff as a hippopotamus; and claims that within 20 years cancer will be a ‘bothersome chronic disease’. There is still much speculation on the meaning of the recently published three billion letters in our genetic code: why do we have so few genes? Are we closer to understanding what makes us human? Leading human genome expert Sir John Sulston, sceptical geneticist Steve Jones and other experts try to give some meaning to the genetic code. The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international scientific research project with a primary goal to determine the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up DNA and to identify and map the approximately 20,000–25,000 genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional standpoint. The first available assembly of the genome was completed in 2000 by the UCSC Genome Bioinformatics Group, composed of Jim Kent (then a UCSC graduate student of molecular, cell and developmental biology), Patrick Gavin, Terrence Furey and David Kulp.