The Human Genome Project Essay

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The Human Genome Project

Introduction

The Human Genome Project (HGP) is a plan to develop a detailed genetic and physical map of the human genome. As a result of this project, it is predicted that vast increases in technology and biological approaches to the molecular world will occur. It was speculated that this project would take two decades. Some scientist did not even think it could be done because the technology was not ready for this kind of project.

Multiple issues have arisen since the original concept for this genome project was introduced. Never before had mankind faced such issues in one project. These issues include such topics as biotechnology, ethical dilemmas, social and individual implications, health and
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Originally, the project was supposed to take 15 years and cost $2M per year (Collins et al). The major goals were to identify all the human genes; determine the sequences of all the base pairs in the human DNA; store the information in a database; develop tools for analyzing data; and address the ethical, legal, and social issues that would arise from the project (Collins et al, 1998).

The information found by the human genome project is expected to be the key source of biomedical information in the 21st century. Using the data found, science would be able to benefit medicine by helping us to understand and treat genetic diseases. In order to meet some of these goals, model organisms were studied to provide comparative information needed for understanding the functioning of the human genome. The data that is collected will be put in an electronic database making it easily accessible to all people (Jang, Chen, Sicotte, Schuler, 1999). Another benefit that the project will provide is new technology that will help a large range of biological and biomedical research. This will decrease the cost of many experiments and create new uses in other fields of study.

Before the project

In the 1970’s, the National Academy of Sciences asked Paul Berg to explore the safety of recombinant DNA technology. He wrote the historic "Berg letter," calling for a moratorium on recombinant DNA research until safety issues could be

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