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Discuss the significance of the human genome project.

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Introduction

The Human Genome Project Discuss the significance of the human genome project. The completion of the human DNA sequence will coincide with the 50th anniversary of Watson and Crick's description of the fundamental structure of DNA. The analytical power arising from the reference DNA sequences of entire genomes and other genomic resources is anticipated to jump start what has been predicted to be the "biology century". Already revolutionising biology, genome research provides a vital thrust to the increasing productivity and pervasiveness of the life sciences. Current and potential applications of genome research address national needs in molecular medicine, waste control and environmental cleanup, biotechnology and energy sources. Rapid progress in genome science and a glimpse into its potential applications have spurred observers to predict that biology will be the foremost science of the 21st century. Technology and resources generated by the Human Genome Project and other genomics research are already having a major impact on research across the life sciences. The potential for commercial development of genomics research presents U.S. industry with a wealth of opportunities, and sales of DNA-based products and technologies in the biotechnology industry are projected to exceed $45 billion by 2009 (Consulting Resources Corporation Newsletter, Spring 1999). ...read more.

Middle

Already growers are using bio-engineered seeds to grow insect- and drought-resistant crops that require little or no pesticide. Farmers have been able to increase outputs and reduce waste because their crops and herds are healthier. Discuss the ethical, moral and social implications of being able to find out what alleles people carry for particular genes. The U.S. Department of Energy (and the National Institutes of Health have devoted 3% to 5% of their annual Human Genome Project budgets toward studying the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) surrounding availability of genetic information. This represents the world's largest bioethics program, which has become a model for ELSI programs around the world. The issue raises questions over the fairness in the use of genetic information by insurers, employers, courts, schools, adoption agencies, and the military, among others as well as Privacy and confidentiality of genetic information, in terms of who owns and controls it. Clinical issues are also raised, including the education of doctors and other health service providers, patients, and the general public in genetic capabilities, scientific limitations, and social risks; and implementation of standards and quality control measures in testing procedures. After all, how will genetic tests be evaluated and regulated for accuracy, reliability, and utility? ...read more.

Conclusion

But there are limits to autonomy and scientific freedom. Scientists also have social duty above their personal autonomy to provide best from their expertise without doing harm in any form. It is agreed that it will be extremely difficult and in some cases impossible to provide best treatment to all in need, but a rational and balanced approach is needed so that the people in the developing world have their share of benefits from these advancements. The principal of justice is not limited to the provision of good health-care systems, also it could be related to biocentric thinking when animals are used for experiments, which is another cause of concern in many countries. Criticism has been raised against multinational drug corporations using poor, disease prevalent countries as testing grounds or for placebo control trials, especially in African continent where it is not only cheaper to do trials, also, since the epidemic is at very alarming stage, the results for the trials are easy to obtain. Ethically we should provide food and medicine to those who need them. The concept can be argued from utilitarian ethics, which says maximum good for maximum people or based on theory of Justice by Rawls, that argues for goodness based on the least that could be benefited. ...read more.

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