Pride of Britain Awards: Lifetime Achievement; Sir John Sulston, 59, Led UK Team to Map Human Genome

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GORDON Brown hailed Sir John Sulston's work to unravel the human genome as having produced "the greatest map that has ever been known".

Mr Brown said it was a huge step forward in the fight against disease.

He praised the team for releasing their work on the internet, saying: "This is one of the founding principles of our health service, free access to all no matter how rich they are."

He said: "Sir John's discovery is going to change our lives for hundreds of years. It is a ground-breaking achievement of immense proportions."

Sir John made an impassioned call for global unity as he accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award.

His team at the Sanger Research Centre in Cambridge released their findings on the worldwide web while US counterpart, Craig Venter, of Celera Genomics, only allowed paid subscribers to access his data.

Sir John said: "We all share our genes, they belong to everybody and they can't be owned. …