Owned by the Perkin-Elmer Corporation
(who own ABI
, who make most the DNA sequencer
s also used in the Human Genome Project
), Celera is currently running a massive privately-funded effort to sequence the human genome
, parallel to the public effort known as the Human Genome Project.
They expect to be done this year (2000). This has caused a massive speedup of the Human Genome Project's original timetable; they now expect to have a (useful) first draft of the human genome at the end of this year, too.
Different notions of what sequencing "the human genome" really means (neither group will sequence every single nucleotide, and indeed the phrase "every single nucleotide" is not meaningful), as well as the different technology used, and the difference between privately-funded research and publically-funded research, all mean that both efforts are of interest to many people, and neither is "better" in a real sense.
People at Celera