The Human Genome Project Essay

The Human Genome Project Essay

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The Human Genome Project

The Human Genome Project began in the mid - 1980s as an international
scientific mission to map all the genetic material (i.e. genes) in
human chromosomes and ultimately build the complete set of genetic
information contained within molecules of deoxyribosenucleic acid
(DNA) known as the genome. The project aims to improve the methods
used to prevent and cure diseases because the keys to many of the
worst illnesses of our time, like cancer and diabetes, can be found in
genetic variations in DNA.

The Human Genome Project is international, and has involved
collaborations and contributions from researchers throughout the
world, all of whom have donated their results freely to the public
databases. It is the largest collaborative project ever attempted in
biology, involving scientists in the USA, Australia, Japan, Germany,
the UK, Italy, Russia, France, the Netherlands, Canada, Israel and
elsewhere.

The Human Genome Project aims to:

* Determine the sequence of the four bases (adenine, cytosine,
thymine and guanine) throughout all the DNA in human cells;

* Identify the estimated 100 000 genes formed by the bases;

* Find the locations of the genes on the 23 human chromosomes;

* Store all this information on databases for future research;

* Consider all the ethical, legal and social issues which arise from
obtaining information about the human genome.

DNA underlies almost every aspect of human health, both in function
and dysfunction. Obtaining a detailed picture of how genes and other
DNA sequences function together and interact with environmental
factors ultimately will...


... middle of paper ...


...rgy-related
agents, especially in terms of cancer risk.

Although there could be great benefits in human health and disease,
some people are not happy with the work being done on the Human Genome
Project and say its unethical and that the money could be better spent
on other things like improving the health of very poor people that
probably won’t benefit from the project and who will continue to be
vulnerable to infectious diseases. Although tests for diseases such as
cystic fibrosis are useful because they provide information on whether
people are carries of the disease or not, the results generated from
it may not be reliable. Also it could introduce risks of
discrimination by employers, insurance companies and others if they
discover whether or not someone has had a positive result for a
particular faulty gene.

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