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HUMAN GENOME PROJECT (HGP)

HUMAN GENOME PROJECT (HGP)

  • Human Genome refers to the entire genetic makeup of human beings. HGP is an international effort to identify and locate all the genes and their variants, understand their functioning and write down the sequence of nucleotides that comprise the genes.
  • It was started formally in 1990 originally as a 15-year project coordinated by the US Department of Energy and National Institute of Health.

OBJECTIVES

The primary objectives of the project were:

  1. To identify all the approximately 30, 000 genes in human DNA.
  2. To determine the sequence of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that makes up human DNA.
  3. To store this information in databases.
  4. To improve tools for data analysis.
  5. To address the ethical, legal and social issues that may arise from the project.

BENEFITS OF HGP | HUMAN GENOME PROJECT (HGP)

  • The importance of the event stems from the fact that it holds the key to almost everything that defines a human being including the physical traits, habits and more importantly, proneness to certain diseases.
  • Many scientists believe that armed with the genomic data they can better understand the functions of genes and correlate genetic abnormalities with specific diseases.
  • This could enable doctors to find out whether an individual is genetically predisposed to develop certain diseases later in life and may be to recommend preventive measures or even corrective actions using newly developed drugs and treatments.
  • The better understanding of genome might help in diagnosing genetic diseases at an early stage or even before birth.

PROBLEMS WITH HGP

  • At the same time genomic data can be misused. E.g. the patients taking the tests face significant risk of jeopardizing their employment or insurance status unless absolute confidentiality of such knowledge is made mandatory.
  • And because genetic information is shared, these risks may extend beyond them to their family members as well. HUMAN GENOME PROJECT (HGP)

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