The Human Genome Initiative is a worldwide research effort that has the goal of analyzing the sequence of human DNA and determining the location of all human genes. Begun in 1990, the U.S. Human Genome project was originally planned to last 15 years but now is projected to be complete in 13 years. This project was started to find the 80,000 - 100,000 human genes and to determine the sequence of the 3 - billion chemical bases that make up human DNA. The information generated by the human genome project is expected to be the source book for biomedical fields, including those such as developmental biology and neurobiology, where scientists are just beginning to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms. The human genome project is expected to immensely benefit medical science. It will help us to understand and eventually treat many of the more than 4000 genetic diseases that afflict mankind, as well as the many multifunctional diseases in which genetic predisposition plays an important role. New technologies emanating from the genome project will also find application in other fields such as agriculture and the environmental sciences.
The human genome consists of 50,000 to 100,000 genes located on 23 pairs of chromosomes. One chromosome in each pair is inherited from the mother, and the other from the father. Each chromosome contains a long molecule of DNA, the molecule of which genes are made. The order of the four bases on the DNA strand determines the information content of a particular gene or piece of DNA. Mapping is the process of determining the position and spacing of genes, or other genetic landmarks, on the chromosomes relative to one another.
The possibility of initiating such a maj...
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...From Maps to Medicine: Hereditary Colon Cancer. "Hereditary Colon Cancer", Obtained from WWW 10/20/99: http://www.nhgri.nih.gov/Policy_and_public_affairs/Communications/Publications/Maps_to_medicine/colon.html.
U.S. Dept. of Energy. Human Genome Project Information. "HGP Announce Accelerated Completion Date of Working Draft", Obtained from WWW 10/19/99:5/28/99: http://www.ornl.gov/hgmis/project/update.html.
U.S. Dept. of Energy. Human Genome Project Information. "Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI) of the Human Genome Project", Obtained from WWW 10/19/99:9/7/99: http://www.ornl.gov/TechResources/Human_Genome/resource/elsi.html.
U.S. Dept. of Energy. Understanding our Genetic Inheritance the U.S. Human Genome Project. "The first Five Years: Fiscal Years 1991-1995", Obtained from WWW 10/19/99:1/13/99: http://www.ornl.gov/hgmis/project/5yrplan/intro.html.
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