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

The benefits and criticisms of the human genome project

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Completed in 2003, the Human Genome Project (HGP) was a 13-year project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. Its goals were to: 1. Identify all the genes in the human DNA 2. Determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA 3. Store this information in databases 4. Improve tools for data analysis 5. Transfer related technologies to the private sector 6. Address the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project A genome is the entire DNA in an organism, including its genes. Genes carry information for making all the proteins required by all organisms. These proteins determine, among other things, how the organism looks, how well its body metabolises food or fights infection, and sometimes even how it behaves. DNA is made up of four similar chemicals (called bases and abbreviated A, T, C, and G) that are repeated millions or billions of times throughout a genome. The human genome, for example, has 3 billion pairs of bases. The particular order of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs is extremely important. ...read more.

Middle

can be studied through germline mutations in lineages * Migration of different population groups can be studied based on maternal genetic inheritance * Mutations on the Y chromosome can be studied to trace lineage and migration of males * Breakpoints compared in the evolution of mutations with ages of populations and historical events * Potential suspects identified whose DNA may match evidence left at crime scenes * Persons wrongly accused of crimes can be exonerated * Crime, catastrophe, and other victims identified * Paternity and other family relationships established * Endangered and protected species identified as an aid to wildlife officials (could be used for prosecuting poachers) * Bacteria and other organisms detected that may pollute air, water, soil, and food * Organ donors matched with recipients in transplant programs * Pedigree determined for seed or livestock breeds * Authenticate consumables such as caviar and wine * Disease-, insect-, and drought-resistant crops grown * Healthier, more productive, disease-resistant farm animals bread * More nutritious produce grown * Biopesticides developed * Edible vaccines incorporated into food products * New environmental cleanup uses developed for plants like tobacco These are a large ...read more.

Conclusion

foods and microbes * Commercialisation of products including property rights (patents, copyrights, and trade secrets) and accessibility of data and materials * Cost and availability of life insurance There are several issues that raise a lot of concern, and things are not always so clear-cut. Where do we draw the line between aborting a foetus because of it's genetic predisposition to breast cancer and aborting it because it's face is not symmetrical or it's eyes are brown? Others say that the benefits of this information out way any drawbacks and that when put in perspective are only minor concerns that do not have much significance. After looking at the benefits and criticisms of the human genome project I can see that the research has been extremely beneficial to medicine and science in general. It has led to some major changes in treatment of diseases, understanding DNA and the production of food produce. However, there are many controversial issues surrounding the research and it's outcomes. It will have a massive affect on our lives in the future, but weather this will be (overall) good or bad is yet to be seen. Jennie Hunt 12A ...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

    MENTAL HEALTH

    4 star(s)

    Prevention method There are a wide range of different prevention methods to avoiding an eating disorder. Maintaining a healthy balance and healthy outlook on life are two keys mean of prevention. A healthy balance in life on an Individual doesn't just mean on their confidence and etc, it also involves

  2. Free essay

    Outline the impact on the evolution of plants and animals of: ...

    deoxyribose * The four different bases are adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine * Adenine pairs with thymine (A-T) and guanine with cytosine (G-C) * A single DNA strand is made up of a chain of nucleotides (a polynucleotide) where the phosphate and sugar alternate as the backbone of the strand

  1. Human Genome Project. The work on interpretation of genome data is still in its ...

    How will personal genetic information be used? 2. Who should have access to personal genetic information, and how will it be used? Privacy and confidentiality of genetic information. 1. Who owns and controls genetic information? 2. Who should have the right to acess personal genetic information?

  2. Gm foods and Gene therapy

    governments, where the economic potential from genetics is able to be viewed with inadequate regard for other thoughts. The desire of some, initially in the USA, and next in the UK and somewhere else, to patent the mapped parts of the human genome is a revealing example of the interruption which can result.

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

    a place that is familiar to the child, such as school or whilst at home playing with their toys. Observations on how a child reacts to new places or people will also be noted. Are There Any Treatments Or Cures?

  2. Nature vs. Nurture - The Human Genome Project

    Human variation maps generated in the HGP has aided in pinpointing underlying DNA sequences for other common diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and cancers, which provide focused targets for the development of new effective therapies. The advancement in genome science along with its potential applications has spurred observers to predict

  1. The Human Genome Project.

    The four research areas listed above will be expanded and reformulated to accomodate the issues and priorities generated by these new goals. New ELSI Goals: 1998-2003 1. Examine the issues surrounding the completion of the human DNA sequence and the study of human genetic variation.

  2. Human Genome Paper

    I hope we stay at this point and don't come up with individual maps for each person. We will have the ability to treat most of our diseases or conditions through genetic therapy. I wonder what will happen when it comes to parents that want to have that perfect child.

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