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The human genome project.

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Rehana Begum HUMAN GENOME PROJECT The aim of the human genome project is to identify and characterise all of the estimated 100,000 genes in the human body. The 'genome is the complete set of genetic material of an organism'1. I will be looking at both ethical and economical views on knowing the human genome. The human genome project involves the 'determination of the sequence of 3,000 million base pairs which constitute the human genome'2. DNA is the component that carries the genetic information. It is made of monomer units called Nucleotides, which is made up of ribose sugar, a phosphate group and one of four organic Nitrogen containing bases. The bases are complementary to each other, since only, Thymine will pair with Adenine and Cytosine will pair with only Guanine. ...read more.


They used heavy Nitrogen, which was radioactive and light Nitrogen (normal nitrogen). They found that the DNA made contain one strand from the original DNA and the other was new. During semi- conservative replication the original strand unwinds and the hydrogen bonds, which hold the two strands together, are broken. Free nucleotides move along the exposed strands and they pair with the complementary bases. DNA polymerase enzyme is used to speed this process up. Many countries are involved in the human genome project where they are all trying to find the sequencing for particular parts of the human genome. The project was started in 1990 and is near completion. These countries are working together researching different parts of the genome. ...read more.


For example if someone suffers from the disease Cystic Fibrosis, they can undergo gene therapy where gene with the default can be removed and replace with the normal gene. As the genome will be known therefore the appropriate gene can be synthesised in the laboratory. Many people disagree with the vast amounts of money being spent on the genome project, as they believe that there are many ethical and moral issues that are ignored. As people believe that having 'greater genetic knowledge maybe used to discriminate unjustly between individuals'5. If a genetic disorder for example is found in an unborn child then it can be killed due to this knowledge that we have of the genetic coding. Whilst others believe that people in the developing world will not be able to used the information found from the genome project. ...read more.

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