A group of scientists and researchers fascinated with the human genome said Monday they will post online their most private personal information — their medical records and DNA sequence of some of their own genes — all for the sake of research.

Led by Harvard Medical School genetics professor George Church, nine people plan to post their records and the DNA sequence of about one-fifth of their genes on the Web.

The release is part of the Personal Genome Project, which is designed to serve as a resource for researchers investigating the genetic basis of diseases and other traits.

Participants said they decided to make their information public to help medical research.

"I believe that there's a great advantage to each of us knowing our sequences, but it is also to me inconceivable that absolute genetic privacy will be maintained," said Stanley Lapidus, chairman and CEO of Helicos BioSciences Corp.

Last year, DNA pioneers J. Craig Venter, president of a genetics research institute, and James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA's molecular structure, made their genomes public on scientific Web sites.

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