• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain What Is Meant By The Human Genome Project And Outline Some Of The Legal, Social, Spiritual, Ethical And Moral Issues It Raises.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain What Is Meant By The Human Genome Project And Outline Some Of The Legal, Social, Spiritual, Ethical And Moral Issues It Raises. A gene is a length of DNA that codes for a protein, and the word genome means all the genes that are present in an organism. The Human Genome Project was set up in 1990 in order to establish the entire gene sequence of a Human. It was an international project headed by James Watson, Watson had earlier helped determine the structure of DNA. The original predicted finishing date was by 2010, but by spreading the work load throughout different countries, several advancements in the techniques of decoding DNA and private funding from drug companies the project has already been finished. The hope that with a better understanding of our genome, it would be easier to treat genetic disorders, was one of the major driving forces behind the project. But not necessarily for the patients but more for the drug companies who saw great opportunities with the code. This is because in return for sponsorship they were allowed to patent part of the genome, they saw this as a source of great income. Because with the knowledge and rights to the DNA code they could replicate some naturally occurring drugs, e.g. ...read more.

Middle

This is because in most religions life is considered a gift from God, and by changing the genome of a germ cell you are playing God yourself, which is considered wrong because this is supposed to leave God to do his work without interference. This is going to be one of the major stumbling blocks for those who want this kind of 'treatment' to be available. Religion also faces a major problem because if the DNA is decoded, then where is the 'spirit' supposed to be. The human 'spirit' is a major factor of most religions so without it then what would happen to religion? Because only a small percentage of DNA is used for actually coding for the proteins, there have been suggestions that the 'spirit' could be made up of the DNA that does not code for a protein, this is the only theory that can currently "allow there" to be a 'spirit'. One major social issue that needs to be addressed is what if a gene for homosexuality or paedophilia is found, then will we be prejudice and discriminate against people who are found to have these genes even if they show no signs of it on the outside? ...read more.

Conclusion

This is because it could limit the accessibility of some drugs to some people. There is also a wider picture to look at, because it is not inconceivable to suggest that the 'human gene pool' will get smaller and smaller, this could happen if everyone decided they wanted clever, good looking children... and the same genes were used again and again for different people. This could have disastrous affect in terms of the long-term future of humans. This would have to be classed as a humanitarian issue On the whole as we discover more about our genes, doors will be opened for new treatments, it will become easier to treat genetic diseases. While a lot of good is bound to come from The Human Genome Project and such projects, lots of issues need to be raised. We cannot ignore that we are slowly uncovering the mystery of life and with this new found knowledge there will be ways to abuse it, and we need to be careful of this. While we say all of this we are still a way off from knowing what everything in our genome does. There are many other issues other than those raised, which also need to be addressed, but hopefully they will be and this knowledge can be put to good use in helping people. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Human Genome Project

    5 star(s)

    However, it is difficult to undo genetic changes, especially when they may persist many generations into the future. So we must think not only about how gene therapy will affect us personally, but also about our future descendents who may inherit our gene mutation.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The Problem of Endangerment in Siberian Tigers

    3 star(s)

    If Siberian tigers do not have enough habitats, it will be unhealthy mentally and physically; not being able to mate or get enough exercise that they require3. When a Siberian tiger is taken from the wild, researchers make a preparation for its travel and arrival.

  1. The Biology of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and the Social Implications

    From some of the research gathered, there were some negative results. One parent wrote on website http://www.nas.org.uk, accessed Sunday, 13 August 2006, (paraphrased), that her son attended a mainstream school, but because of her son's autism, the school could not cope.

  2. Gm foods and Gene therapy

    SOCIAL ISSUES RAISED BY GENE THERAPY - SOMATIC ENHANCEMENT Conservatively, the applications of gene therapy are separated into 4 groups: somatic treatments for medical, conditions, somatic enhancements, germ line treatments for medical conditions and germ line enhancements. The main point is that, in the present social climate, it would be extremely difficult to resist somatic enhancements.

  1. Recombinant DNA, genetically engineered DNA prepared in vitro by cutting up DNA molecules and ...

    In 1953 James Watson and Francis Crick discovered that the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecule is in the shape of a double helix. DNA contains the master code of instructions for protein synthesis in the cell. In the late 1980s scientists discovered a second code that plays a key role in a later step in protein synthesis.

  2. “The Moral, Ethical, Social and Legal Issues Surrounding Genetic Engineering”.

    In this view, cloning is just another scientific subject and those who wish to research cloning should not be stopped. The advantages would be that it would solve the problem of infertility and also it will be possible to clone organs for transplants.

  1. Cell Theory - Discuss the theory that living organisms are composed of cells.

    One example must be human skin color. * hair color * skin color - black (BBBB), dark (BBBW), mulatto (BBWW), light (BWWW),white (WWWW) * height Unit 11 11.1 Nerves (3h) 11.1.1 Outline the general organization of the human nervous system including CNS (brain and spinal cord)

  2. List areas of science that have raised ethical or moral issues

    The egg cell with donor adult nucleus is treated with chemicals or electric current to stimulate cell division. When the embryos are at an appropriate stage, it is transferred to a uterus and continuous to develop until female sheep gives birth.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work