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

Nature vs. Nurture - The Human Genome Project

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Elizabeth Chun June 16, 2004 Environment & Society Prof. Dele Ogunseitan Nature vs. Nurture - The Human Genome Project The Human Genome Project has involved thousands of scientists in a large collective effort to determine this sequence, over the span of approximately thirteen years and the estimated cost of three billion dollars. Ultimately, the HGP "seeks to determine the relative position of each of the estimated fifty to one hundred thousand human genes and to determine the sequence of the approximately three billion [chemical base pairs] constituting the entire human genetic material" (Ogunseitan 1246). In addition, the project involves storing this information in databases and attempts to improve tools for data analysis, while transferring related technologies to the private sector. However, a significant part of the project involves addressing the ethical, legal, and social issues that arise from the project as a whole. Controversy has existed from the very beginning of the project, despite the initial goal of simply deriving meaningful knowledge from the DNA sequence to further current understanding of the biological system. ...read more.

Middle

In microbial genomics, data from the genome project allows further insights into the development of energy-related biotechnologies such as photosynthetic and microbial systems that function in extreme environments. The project also contributes indirectly to the development of new and diverse products, processes, and test methods that will open the door to a cleaner environment. Understanding the human genome will have a significant effect on assessing risks posed to individuals by exposure to toxic agents. Moreover, this understanding can be applied to plants and animals to create stronger and disease-resistant organisms. In essence, information on the DNA of non-human organisms can lead to an understanding of their natural capabilities, which can be applied toward solving challenges in health care, energy sources, agriculture, and environmental cleanup. In the past, researchers were only able to study few genes at a time. However, with the advancement in the HGP, they can approach their methods systematically on a grand scale. ...read more.

Conclusion

The mapping of the human genes has to be anonymous, but the information acquired will apply to every human being regardless of individual differences, color, or race. The information should be general property and should not be used for business aims. As a result, no patents should be give for the human genome or parts of it. The risks of social and genetic discrimination also bears ground for opposition to the HGP due to the fact that such risks outweigh the potential benefits derived from the results of the project. Genetic mapping may become a source of stigmatization and social discrimination as the "risky population" may turn into a "defective population." Furthermore, the danger of re-incorporating eugenics into the research gleaned from the project increases the opposition toward sequencing human DNA. The fear that government eugenics might take place to improve the race exists among a significant part of those against the project. This draws in the concept of "playing God" in altering genes to create the ideal or improved sequence of genes. The ethical issues raised by the HGP are primarily linked with the abuse of research information. ...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)

    The DNA fragments are then duplicated numerous times in the laboratory so that the resulting identical copies, called clones, can be tested individually for the presence or absence of specific genetic landmarks. Those clones that share several landmarks are likely to come from overlapping segments of the chromosome.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Nature vs. Nurture - And its affect on intelligence, personality, and behavior

    4 star(s)

    One's genes designate a person's gender. This means that the natural aspect determines gender. Analyzing the American society, different roles begin to emerge. The sex of a person contributes greatly to how one's personality and behavior develops. An example of this would be a teacher. An analysis showed that the majority of the teachers in the United States are female.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Research Project - Could stems cells provide a cure for diabetes?

    4 star(s)

    The disadvantage of adult stem cells is that the cells of a particular area in the body would only be able to produce cells of the same type. Also, adult stem cells are hard to isolate from the body before being able to re-new themselves in other cells in the body.

  2. Edexcel Level 3 Extended Project - Should Embyonic Stem Cell Research be applied to ...

    Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women of America repeatedly emphasized in a TV debate that there were so many cures and treatments around using adult stem cells but nothing hugely impressive on embryonic stem cells. Therefore, in her opinion, the stem cell debate is one big hoax because of the

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

    Whereas this change can occur suddenly by chance, it does not necessarily mean that it has any significance for the individual concerned. On the other hand, the gene that may change its character may give reason to specific inherited disorders where there has been no previous family history.

  2. Nature Vs Nurture

    The famous Ramey studies on the environmental effects of intelligence (insert reference here) are a prime example of this school of thought. His experiments demonstrated that the environmental influence on young children could drastically alter their intelligence compared to that of their parents.

  1. The incurable nature of Huntington's disease and current treatments.

    There are currently a number of clinical trials underway using direct gene therapy approaches to deliver potent trophic factors throughout the basal ganglia,? said Dr. Maria Emborg of the University of Wisconsin-Madison [2]. The research team found that hNPCs genetically modified to over-express GDNF were able to survive the transplant and produced GDNF for three months.

  2. Human Genome Paper

    The significance of questions like these is expressed in the amount of money the consortium is spending on this topic. They are spending 3 to 5 percent of the total annual budget, which is approximately 200 million. This could amount to as much as 10 million dollars annually.

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