Overview of The Human Genome Project

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6 pages /

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6 pages /

2577 words

Downloads: 82

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Table of contents

  1. Technical Aspects of HGP
  2. Benefits of the HGP
  3. Ethics Issues of the HGP
  4. Conclusion

The Human Genome Project (HGP) is an international collaborative project that aims to identify and mark all the positions of every gene in the human species. The HGP in the United States started in 1990 and is expected to take 15 years to map the human genome. Since 1990, many technological advances have been made, accelerating the progress of the project to sometime in 2003. The US HGP is composed of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), hoping to discover 50,000 to 100,000 human genes and use them for further biological research. The project also involves many other countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. In addition to many countries participating in the project, there are also many commercial companies involved in sequencing.

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The $3 billion cooperative price tag will be used to sequence the possible 3 billion DNA base pairs of human DNA. The possibilities of the information obtained from the project are almost limitless. It is likely to change many biological and medical research techniques and many practices used by our medical professionals today. The knowledge that will be gained will help lead to new methods of diagnosis, treatment, and possibly prevention of disease. Through the discovery of the human genome, the possibilities for agriculture, health services and new energy are also endless. As we know today, the final result of HGP will be information about the structure, function and organization of DNA. Since the beginning, people have been eager to explore the unknown, map their whereabouts, and think about what they have discovered. The maps we made using these treks enable the next explorer to push our knowledge further-about the earth, the ocean, the sky, and even ourselves. In order to draw a new map of the innermost layer of human cells, scientists are now embarking on the most important mapping expedition in biology: the Human Genome Project. Its task is to recognize the full set of genetic instructions contained in our cells and to read the full text written in the language of genetic chemical DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).

As part of this international project, biologists, chemists, engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, and other scientists will work together to plot out several types of biological maps that will enable researchers to find their way through the labyrinth of molecules that define the physical traits of a human being. Packed tightly into nearly every one of the several trillion body cells is a complete copy of the human 'genome' - all the genes that make up the master blueprint for building a man or woman. One hundred thousand or so genes sequestered inside the nucleus of each cell are parceled among the 46 sausage-shaped genetic structures known as chromosomes. The new map developed through the Human Genome Project will enable researchers to pinpoint specific genes on our chromosomes. The most detailed map will enable scientists to decrypt the genetic instructions encoded in the 3 billion nucleotide base pairs that make up human DNA. The analysis of this information is likely to continue for most of the 21st century, which will completely change our understanding of how genes control human functions.

This knowledge will provide new strategies for diagnosis, treatment and possible prevention of human diseases. This will help explain the mysteries of embryonic development and provide us with important insights into the history of evolution. In the past 20 years, the development of gene splicing technology has provided scientists with a rare opportunity to not only understand how cells work in diseases, but also the molecular basis for their roles in daily activities. Using these techniques, scientists have mapped out the genetic molecules or genes that control many life processes of common microorganisms. The continuous improvement of these biotechnologies has led researchers to develop a map of human chromosomes, which contains much more genetic information than microorganisms. Although these maps are still a bit rough, they have led to the discovery of some important genes. By the mid-1980s, the rapid development of chromosome mapping and other DNA technologies made many scientists consider mapping all 46 chromosomes in the very large human genome. Detailed, standardized maps of all human chromosomes and knowledge about the nucleotide sequence of human DNA will enable scientists to discover and study genes related to human diseases more efficiently than ever before.

This new effort-the Human Genome Project-is expected to take 15 years to complete and consists of two main parts. The first one-creating a map of 23 pairs of chromosomes-should be completed within the first 5 to 10 years. The second part-sequencing the DNA contained in all chromosomes-may take a full 15 years. Although DNA sequencing technology has developed rapidly in the past few years, even sequencing the amount of DNA contained in a single human chromosome is still too slow and expensive. Therefore, while some genome project scientists are developing chromosome maps, others will focus on improving efficiency and reducing the cost of sequencing technology. Unless these new machines are invented, large-scale sequencing of the human genome will not begin.

Technical Aspects of HGP

HGP has put forward many goals, and they hope to complete these goals before they are completed in 2003. One of the primary goals of the project is to identify 50,000 to 100,000 genes found in DNA. HGP's second goal is to sequence the 3 billion chemical bases that make up human DNA. DNA sequencing is the process of determining the order of the chemical building blocks 'bases' that make up the DNA of the human chromosome. This information will then be stored in a large database so that others can use the information. HGP hopes to develop tools for analyzing this data. Finally, HGP hopes to solve the ethical, legal and social issues that will undoubtedly arise from the project. As of 10899, the working draft sequence's goal of 90% by the summer of 2000 is at 13.6% of its goal (453,968,000 bases). The finished high quality sequence's goal of 100% by 2003 is at 13.8% (466,883,000 bases) of their goal. The DNA that is being used in the project is from four individuals. This can be done because humans differ in their genetic makeup by 0.1% of their DNA. This 0.1% accounts for all of the genetic variability that we see and recognize in our society today.

Many different techniques are used in the Genome Project to determine the sequence of DNA. One is to use a new high-resolution mass spectrometer equipped with a vacuum ultraviolet photoionizer to sequence olefinically labeled DNA. This new technology can eliminate the need for gel electrophoresis and radiolabeling when sequencing DNA fragments. This method is accomplished by marking the primer with an organometallic compound such as, ferrocene. Using the original DNA template, a new DNA fragment that terminates at each occurrence of a specific DNA base is established on the primer. After that, the primers are read in a high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometer to determine the mass and sequence. Another technique is automated DNA sequencing. This process is used to speed up the task of DNA sequencing. There are many dyes that can specifically attach to DNA bases. The DNA fragments are then sent through a glass tube containing a transport gel. Then by using a laser to excite the fragments, each dye will emit a certain color. These colors are then read by the computer, which will give the DNA sequence.

Benefits of the HGP

The benefits of the Human Genome Project will be more apparent around the world. By 2009, genomics research expenditures in the U.S. industry are expected to reach 45 billion U.S. dollars. This predicted dollar amount is achieved through the sale of DNA-based products and technologies in the biotechnology industry. One of the potential benefits is in the field of molecular medicine. Benefits in this area may include better disease diagnosis, early detection of certain diseases, and drug gene therapy and control systems. In the future, some new therapies should appear in molecular medicine. These therapies do not treat symptoms, but focus on the root of the problem. Another area where the benefits of HGP can be obtained is the field of microbial genomics. By sequencing the bacterial genome, the field may be able to find new sources of energy. This may lead to discoveries that can be used for energy production, reducing toxic waste and industrial processing. HGP is also very useful for understanding human evolution and human migration. It may help scientists discover how humans have evolved and how humans have evolved today. This will also help to understand the common biology we share with all life on earth. Comparing our genome with other genomes may help lead to associations with certain characteristic diseases. The last area that will undoubtedly benefit from HGP is agriculture and livestock breeding. This technology can help develop disease-resistant, insect-resistant and drought-resistant crops, which can bring more output to the world. This will also help produce healthier, more productive and possibly disease-resistant animals and put them on the market.

Most genetic diseases are rare, but in general, more than 3,000 diseases caused by a single genetic change are known to have claimed millions of healthy and productive lives. Today, it is almost impossible to treat most of these diseases. But having a gene allows scientists to study its structure and characterize the molecular changes or mutations that cause disease. For example, due to the recent discovery of cancer genes, a leap has been made in understanding the causes of cancer. The goal of the Human Genome Project is to provide scientists with powerful new tools to help them remove research barriers that now prevent them from understanding the molecular nature of other tragic and destructive diseases, such as schizophrenia, alcoholism, and Alzheimer's. Murray's disease and manic depression. Gene mutations may play a role in many of the most common diseases today, such as heart disease, diabetes, immune system diseases, and birth defects. It is believed that these diseases are caused by complex interactions between genes and environmental factors. Once the genes of the disease are identified, scientists can study how specific environmental factors (such as food, drugs, or pollutants) interact with these genes. Once a gene is located on the chromosome and its DNA sequence is determined, scientists can determine which protein the gene is responsible for making and understand its function in the body. This is the first step in understanding the genetic disease and finally overcoming it. One day, it may be possible to treat genetic diseases by correcting errors in the genes themselves, replacing their abnormal proteins with normal proteins, or turning off defective genes.

Finally, Human Genome Project research will help solve one of the greatest mysteries of life: How does one fertilized egg 'know' to give rise to so many different specialized cells, such as those making up muscles, brain, heart, eyes, skin, blood, and so on? For a human being or any organism to develop normally, a specific gene or sets of genes must be switched on in the right place in the body at exactly the right moment in development. The information generated by the Human Genome Project will clarify how to choreograph this tight dance of genetic activity into the various organs and tissues that make up humans.

Ethics Issues of the HGP

The general public and people of HGP showed great concern about the moral issues related to the Human Genome Project. Because of this concern the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health have put 3 to 5% of their annual budget for the HGP to studying the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) involved in the project. The use of sequencing will have a profound impact on the genetic screening of individuals. Medical professionals will be able to view a person's genome and be able to know many things about a person just by looking at a person's genes. This new technology will bring many problems, such as the fairness of the use of genetic information. The question is mainly about who should obtain genetic records and how to use them. Some of these targets are insurance companies, employers, courts, schools, and the military. If some of these institutions use this information, they may be discriminated against based on genetic diseases. This discrimination can range from family illnesses to mental illnesses that people cannot help. The privacy and confidentiality of genetic information can also cause problems. For some reason, many people will not want to see their genetic makeup. There will also be psychological problems related to understanding your own genetic makeup. If someone finds that they are likely to suffer from a rare disease, it is likely to greatly change their view of life. In order to reproduce, there may be compatibility problems between two people who have to give birth to normal children. This will put pressure on many people's lives. Another problem that has arisen is the use of gene therapy to treat diseases. Using a person's genome to determine whether a person has genetic diseases will help treat these diseases. In gene therapy, the defective or infected gene will be replaced by the normal gene, so the individual will not show the inherent characteristics. Many people think this is wrong because we have more or less taken over the natural process, and they think this is not the natural way.

HGP also needs to monitor some clinical issues. After the project is completed, many new technologies will need to be taught to our health service staff. There is also a need to educate patients and the public about what happened during these procedures. There is a need to provide genetic counseling for people who are undergoing genetic testing. Health care providers will need to know how to tell people about the consequences of the tests they are about to perform. If only a few organizations are working on the project, they will get the rights to the technology, so HGP will also cause concerns about the commercialization of the technology. The main concern is likely to be the patent and copyright of the technology.

Some critics of HGP believe that the high cost of the project is unjustified. Some critics also say that the ability to diagnose a genetic disease before any treatment can do more harm than good because it can cause anxiety and frustration among individuals. There is also the very big question of what is 'normal'. When and where will the use of genetic material be able to be used in society after the HGP is finished.

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For many reasons, HGP was one of the largest cooperative projects in the world at the time. Many scientists believe that this will completely change the biologicalmedical field. Over time, it has produced many novel dimensions to understand the complexity of human life. The project aims to decipher the hidden information in the human genome, and different branches of life sciences may emerge. Genomics and bioinformatics are two fields, of which the biggest focus is to understand the human genome and develop computational tools to simplify work. HGP also helps to understand the mechanism of various diseases. It helps scientists find a variety of new targets and lead compounds to cure disease. A lot of research is being conducted around the world to find better treatments for various diseases. All this work is happening because we have a complete human genome sequence. Therefore, we can conclude that HGP violates the expectations of the scientific community.

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Overview of the Human Genome Project. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 2, 2023, from
“Overview of the Human Genome Project.” GradesFixer, 30 Aug. 2022,
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