The Human Genome Project Essay

The Human Genome Project Essay

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The Human Genome Project


Almost every aspect that makes a person unique is due to genetic factors, from the color of an individual's eyes to the functions of white blood cells. The one thing that makes an individual's unique characteristics the hardest to understand is the fact that it is all composed of four bases in different patterns. These patterns of adenine, thiamine, guanine and cytosine are the only things that differ one human from the next. This genetic code is contained in every cell that is found in the human body. Gregor Mendel first discovered the foundations of inheritance in the nineteenth century. His discovery was the basis that has now made it possible for humans to learn more about the genetic code. Mendel's discovery has now turned in to a multi-billion dollar project. This project is known as the Human Genome Project (HGP).


Brief History

The HGP began as a joint effort between the Department of Energy (DOE) and the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Department of Energy's initial reason for entering the project was to was to gain a better understanding of the potential health risks that were involved in energy use and the production of energy, especially the risks involved with radiation. Two years after the DOE proposed the idea of sequencing the entire human genome the NIH joined in the effort. The foundations of the project were laid and two years later, in 1990, the project was begun. The project was originally laid out to be a fifteen-year program that would have a budget estimated at three billion dollars (1).

The DOE and the NIH established five major goals for the HGP. The first goal is to identify all of the genes in human DNA. This goal is phenomenal when it is co...


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...GR Announce Formation of New Genomics Company." Obtained from the WWW: http://www.tigr.org/new/press_release_may98.html

6) Website #6: Human Genome Project Information. "Facts About Genome Sequencing." Obtained from the WWW: http://www.ornl.gov/hgmis/faq/seqfacts.html

7) Website #7: "Tools of the Trade." Obtained from the WWW: http://www.ornl.gov/hgmis/publicat/tko/05_tools.html

8) Website #8: "Exploring the Genomic Landscape." Obtained from the WWW: http://www.ornl.gov/hgmis/publicat/tko/04_exploring.html

9) Website #9: DOE Human Genome Program Report. "Capillary Array Electrophoresis." Obtained from the WWW: http://www.ornl.gov/TechResources/Human_Genome/publicat/97pr/04g_sequ.html

10) Karanjawala, Zarir E. "Genetics in the Context of Medical Practice." The Journal of the American Medical Association. Nov. 4 1998, v280n17, p1533.
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