As the initial sequencing of the human genome enters its last days, it probably was inevitable that the urgency to claim credit and the imperative to make money would collide. Thus the airing of the bickering between the public Human Genome Project Consortium (HGP) and Celera Genomics Corp. has succeeded in putting an all too human tarnish on what is to be proclaimed a noble international achievement.

HGP and CRA (Rockville, Md.), which are racing to sequence the genome, have been in preliminary discussions for a joint effort to merge the two data sets on the sequence, but have been unable to reach a deal on the data merger and the follow-on "finishing efforts" that will take place over the next several years.