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Human genome project.

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Introduction

Human genome project The Human Genome Project was started in 1990 by the U.S. department of energy and the national institutes of health it is a 13 year project aimed to be completed in 2003. The human genome project is the 3rd largest scientific project performed by American scientists. The program has the goal of mapping 80,000 to 100,000 genes to the 24 human chromosomes and to sequence the 3.3 billion base pairs that make up human DNA. The human genome project can be beneficial to many different areas; one of these is molecular medicine. Genome maps with greater detail have helped identify genes associated with certain genetic conditions. This has helped improve the diagnosis of a disease and allowed earlier detection of genetic predispositions to disease. Understanding the human genome has allowed medical researchers develop more effective drug treatment programs and has aided the creation of new more effective drugs. ...read more.

Middle

Understanding plant and animal genomes has lead to major agricultural advances. It allows the creation of plants and animals more resilient to the environment and disease. This will benefit farmers and the farming economy. However one of the problems that may arise from being able to identifying genes associated with a disease is genetic testing for life insurance and even employment. In the future insurance companies or employers may require applicants to be tested for genes that mean there more susceptible to a disease. This will mean hundreds of people will be unable to get jobs or even insurance. In extreme cases it could lead to a new type of racism and "superior race". Implications of the HGP will extend to family planning as people are able to have "designer babies" people can choose the genes their child will have such as eye colour build hair colour etc. ...read more.

Conclusion

Concurrently, the National Science Foundation is funding work on the plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. Other groups are working on the genomes of numerous microbes, animals such as cows and dogs, and plants such as corn and rice. Originally the human genome project was started by the national institute of health who had the intention of addressing genetic conditions and the department of energy who were interested in monitoring radiation safety and managing large projects. As the project was a government funded program it was assumed the results would be openly available however more recently Private investors have begun to show interest in the project. This may change how the information is made available weather t will be made available strait away or will it be held while the producers use it. The human genome project has ethical concerns for the religious community. Some implications the HGP entails cause ethical concern. It is an attempt to 'play god' and interfere with nature. ...read more.

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