The Human Genome Project Essay

478 words - 2 pages

The Human Genome ProjectThe Human Genome Project is a 13-year project started in 1990 and coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. The project originally was planned to last 15 years, but rapid technological advances have accelerated the expected completion date to 2003. Project goals are to·identify all the approximate 30,000 genes in human DNA,·determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA,·store this information in databases,·improve tools for data analysis,·transfer related technologies to the private sector, and·address the ethical, ...view middle of the document...

Some main achievements are the DNA Sequence, of which 99% of gene-containing part of human sequence has been finished to 99.99% accuracy in April 2003. The finished sequence of chromosome 20 in December 2001 comprises almost 60 million base pairs and 99.4% of the euchromatic (genetically active) material. A new approach has been used to compare this single chromosome to sequence data from two other vertebrates -- the puffer fish and the mouse -- and on this count over 95% of all coding exons and almost all the genes have now been analysed.Finished genome sequences of E. coli, S. cerevisiae, C. elegans, D. melanogaster, plus whole-genome drafts of several others, including C. briggsae, D. pseudoobscura, mouse and rat have been discovered.Benefits of the project are improved diagnosis of disease, earlier detection of genetic predispositions to disease, rational drug design, gene therapy and control systems for drugs and pharmacogenomics "custom drugs".Potential applications of genome research include molecular medicine, microbial genomics, risk assessment, bioarchaeology, anthropology, evolution, and human migration, DNA forensics (identification) and agriculture, livestock breeding, and bioprocessing.I think that insurers should not have access to the information but if people can be cured early then this information should be available to medical advisors. I feel it is important for an individual not to feel excluded from others by their information being made public to others.

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