What is the human genome project?

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mwmovr40 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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In the last third of the 20th Century genetic scientists were ableto develop techniques for examining DNA and the genes with which it is encoded.  A goal was set to examine human DNA and determine the sequence of genes found there and the effects those genes have on human development.  The project was officially started in 1990, although inroads into the genetic functions of human DNA had started before that.

The ultimate goal of the Human Genome Project is to map out the sequence of every human gene and to determine which human characteristics are determined by specific genes or combinations of genes.  The benefits of the HGP are many including the development of gene therapy that can cure otherwise incurable diseases, or the ability to modify specific genes to cause the regeneration of damaged nerves, and perhaps even damaged or last body parts.

The problems the the HGPof course is the same with any technology: misuse.  Once specific genes for desirable characteristics are mapped it will only be a matter of time before genetic engineering is employed to enhance those genes in some people; or to modify genesof undesirable characteristics to remove them from the human population.

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