The point of funding all this work? To make sense of the jumbled mess of chemicals which make us human — called the human genome. Our genome is the sequence of letters of a chemical called DNA that live in all of our cells. This DNA is what makes a human a human and not a fish — each species has a different string of DNA that makes them unique.
In 2001 a group of scientists published the DNA code of a person: The first fully sequenced — every letter of the string figured out — human genome. The problem? We had no idea what it meant. Researchers have spent the last decade trying to figure it out.