I don't know much about genetics. For an arts project I'm looking for a human genome.

I read that:

Only about 0.1% of the genome is different among individuals, which equates to about 3 million variants (aka mutations) in the average human genome. This means we can make a “diff file” of just the places where any given individual differs from the normal “reference” genome. In practice, this is usually done in a .VCF file format, which in its simplest format looks something like so:

chr20 14370 rs6054257 G A 29 PASS 0|0

Where each line uses ~45 bytes, and you times this by the ~3 million variants in a given genome, and you get a .VCF file size of about 135,000,000 bytes or ~125 megabytes.

Is that correct?

Do you know a database to download a VCF file or something similar? It would be amazing if you could provide a link to the file mentioned above!

  • $\begingroup$ You may need to rethink your number, that 0.1% number might be a little low... If you are interested in the genetics, you may be interested in this answer, biology.stackexchange.com/a/41975/16651. Also, NCBI's databases are open to the public and you should be able to download whatever you want from them. $\endgroup$
    – AMR
    Jan 8, 2016 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ Technically speaking (and in SI and IEC terms) 135,000,000 is 135 Megabytes (MB) or approximately 129 Mebibytes (MiB). $\endgroup$
    – Octopus
    Jan 8, 2016 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


Have you tried poking around the 1000 genomes project?

Try this link



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