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January, not June, is when we’re asked to “look backward to move forward.” But once you read our June issue, you may agree that in the life sciences, our New Year’s Day could come around every June 26. On that date 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton, flanked by J. Craig Venter and Francis S. Collins, announced a critical first: a draft copy of the human genome. We commemorate the occasion with a special feature. It not only looks back—recalling how the draft immediately raised high (and in some cases premature) hopes. It also moves forward—describing how these hopes may soon be realized. How? Instead of having a reference genome, or even sets of reference genomes, stalwarts of precision medicine are working to make every genome a reference. For other examples of how the life sciences may “move forward,” check out all our June articles, which range from regenerative medicine technologies, to COVID-19 collaborations, to biomanufacturing automation, to burgeoning life sciences clusters.

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