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The Future Impact That the Human Genome

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Biology Essay: The Future Impact That the Human Genome Project Will Have on Our Lives The Human Genome Project (HGP) is an international combined research program whose objective is to find out the complete mapping and understanding of all the genes in human beings. All our genes together are known as our 'genome', hence the term Human Genome Project. The main goals of the project are to: * Identify all the approximate 30,000 genes in the human DNA * Determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA * Store this information in databases * Improve tools for data analysis * Transfer related technologies to the private sector, and * Address the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project. To help reach these goals, researchers are also studying the genetic makeup of other nonhuman organisms such as the bacterium in the human gut known as Ascherichia coli. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) ...read more.


Researchers have already identified single genes associated with a number of diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and neurofibromatosis. Genetic weakness has caught up in many major disabling and fatal diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several kinds of cancer. The identification of these genes will pave the way to effective therapies and prevention methods. The ultimate goal of the HGP, I think, is to use this information to develop new ways to treat, cure, or even prevent the thousands of diseases that afflict humankind. HGP will also provide many new possibilities in areas of modern day problems such as forensics. For example DNA can be used to identify suspects from evidence, such as blood and hair left at crime scenes. Victims and paternal relationships can also be identified using DNA. Although the HGP provides many advantages for the future, researchers and lawmakers do agree that the increasing knowledge about human biology and personal genetic information would raise a number of complex issues for individuals and society. ...read more.


Due to high cost involved, developing countries will be denied of any benefits of HGP. The government should implement programs to emphasize the privacy of genetic information, fairness in its use and public education. In conclusion, I strongly agree with the critics who believe that success of the HGP will lead to exploitation of the technology and result in ethical problems such as abortion. If an embryo was diagnosed to have a certain genetic disease, there is a pressure on the parents to carry out abortion. Do the parents have the right to kill their child just because he/she has the possibility of developing a certain disease? There are also ethical concerns on human cloning. As technology advances, there maybe a day that parents can choose the ideal genes for their future child. Not only can they eliminate possibilities of getting diseases, but good qualities such as being intelligent, athletic, good looking, can also be chosen before a child is born. Is this good or bad? It is always good to have healthier and more intelligent people to contribute to the society, but will this become a privilege of the rich, who could afford the cost of technology? ...read more.

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