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The Human Genome Project: The Debate

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Introduction

The Human Genome Project: The Debate The Human Genome project began in 1990. It was a collaboration movement by the scientific community to better understand our genetic make up. The project involves scientists in many countries, including the Sanger centre in the UK. The project itself is aimed at working out the order of all 3 billion base pairs that make up the human genetic blue print or genome. The human genome is made up of about three billion base pairs, which contain 100,000 genes. Along with this, the project also aims to find the location of the genes on the 23 human chromosomes and store all this information for future research where it can be accessed worldwide. It is hoped that the project will also help develop even better tools for sequencing and analysis. The project not only affects the science world but also affects the business world. The desire of companies to sequence parts of the human genome ahead of the Institutes of Health has led to a multitude of company mergers and partnerships. ...read more.

Middle

Many people are concerned with the implications of the genome project. Many people believe that it is not worth the time or money to sequence the entire human genome when only a small percent is used to encode for proteins. They believe that this money and time would be better spent creating more enhanced medical treatments. Also, genetic testing is a concern as the results for some genetic tests the results are not clear cut and it questions the reliability of these tests as false results may be given. If a gene is found to be faulty and the person is found to have a disposition to that illness they may be discriminated against by employers and insurance companies. This would mean that people may not be employed because of their genetic makeup even though they may not even develop any illness. This is a great worry within the public. Genetic testing is fairly a new procedure and so is costly. This means that poorer people, the people who would benefit the most, may not be able to afford genetic testing. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that the money and time spent on the completion of this project is worthwhile. I think that genetic tests are overall an asset as they are able to inform us of the chances of inheriting diseases and it helps us to gain a better understanding of the human body and its processes. I think that these tests should be monitored closely and efforts should be made to improve the reliability of the results. I do not think that every person should have a genetic test as this would make people very anxious over their health and may end up creating stress related health problems. I think that people should only be issued for genetic tests on the recommendation from their doctor or personal general practitioner (G.P). In response to the publics worry over access to the database I think that this is an issue which will need to be addressed as I think everyone has the right to this information without endangering the public. I think that employers/companies should not be allowed to an individual's personal genetic information unless it is appropriate for health reasons and if it is not appropriate the details should remain private under doctor patient confidentiality. ...read more.

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