Discuss the significance of the human genome project.

Authors Avatar

The Human Genome Project

Discuss the significance of the human genome project.

The completion of the human DNA sequence will coincide with the 50th anniversary of Watson and Crick's description of the fundamental structure of DNA. The analytical power arising from the reference DNA sequences of entire genomes and other genomic resources is anticipated to jump start what has been predicted to be the "biology century".

Already revolutionising biology, genome research provides a vital thrust to the increasing productivity and pervasiveness of the life sciences. Current and potential applications of genome research address national needs in molecular medicine, waste control and environmental cleanup, biotechnology and energy sources.

Rapid progress in genome science and a glimpse into its potential applications have spurred observers to predict that biology will be the foremost science of the 21st century. Technology and resources generated by the Human Genome Project and other genomics research are already having a major impact on research across the life sciences. The potential for commercial development of genomics research presents U.S. industry with a wealth of opportunities, and sales of DNA-based products and technologies in the biotechnology industry are projected to exceed $45 billion by 2009 (Consulting Resources Corporation Newsletter, Spring 1999).

Some current and potential applications of genome research include

  • Molecular medicine

Technology and resources promoted by the Human Genome Project are starting to have profound impacts on biomedical research and promise to revolutionize the wider spectrum of biological research and clinical medicine. Increasingly detailed genome maps have aided researchers seeking genes associated with dozens of genetic conditions, including myotonic dystrophy, fragile X syndrome, neurofibromatosis types 1 and 2, inherited colon cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and familial breast cancer.

Join now!
  • Microbial genomics

Despite our reliance on the inhabitants of the microbial world, we know little of their number or their nature: estimates are that less than 0.01% of all microbes have been cultivated and characterized. Programs like the DOE Microbial Genome Program help lay a foundation for knowledge that will ultimately benefit human health and the environment. The economy will benefit from further industrial applications of microbial capabilities.

  • Bio archaeology, anthropology, evolution, and human migration

Understanding genomics will help us understand human evolution and the common biology we share with all of life. Comparative genomics between humans ...

This is a preview of the whole essay