AT THE END OF THE ROAD in Little Cottonwood Canyon, near Salt Lake City, Alta is a place of near-mythic renown among skiers. In time it may well assume similar status among molecular geneticists. In December 1984, a conference there, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, pondered a single question: Does modern DNA research offer a way of detecting tiny genetic mutations—and, in particular, of observing any increase in the mutation rate among the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and their descendants? In short the answer was, Not yet. But in an atmosphere of rare intellectual fertility, the seeds were sown for a project that would make such detection possible in the future—the Human Genome Project.
The U.S. Department of Energy and The Human Genome Project, "1: "To Know Ourselves"" (1996). Genomics: Past & Future. 2.