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The Human Genome Project - Essay Example

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The human genome project represents one of the most important projects in the history of humanity. Along with the Apollo missions and the discovery of the structure of DNA, it is one of the historical projects that will forever alter humanity's future and the way we perceive the world around us.
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The Human Genome Project
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The Human Genome Project

Download file to see previous pages... As the reported given by the US Department of Energy said "The ultimate goal of this initiative is to understand the human genome" and "Knowledge of the human genome is as necessary to the continuing progress of medicine and other health sciences as knowledge of human anatomy has been for the present state of medicine." Officially, the project was founded in 1990 by the US Department of Energy and the US National institute of Health. It was estimated that the project would take 15 years, but advances in sequencing technology led to a faster completion of the project, the project being completed 2 years earlier that estimated, in 2003. Ari Patrinos, who is the head of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research, led the Human genome project that was initiated by the US Department of Energy. However, in the US, the Department of Energy was not the only institution that explored the human genome. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also gave an effort in determining the human genome. From 1988 to 1992 the head of the National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR), which was a part of NIH was James Watson, who in April 1993 was replaced with Francis Collins, due to issue of patenting genes. The NCHGR) was also renamed in 1997 into National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). ...
At any given time, the Human Genome Project funded about 200 separate principal investigators. There were also many private research companies that conducted genome research. The most famous privetly owned company that was involved in the Human genome project was the company owned by Craig Venter and his company Celera Genomics, which gave considerable improvement to the project. It must be mentioned that this was also an international effort. There were at least 18 countries who had human genome research programs. Some of the larger programs are in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, European Union, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. Some developing countries also participated in the project, mainly by studying sequencing techniques for genome research. The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) coordinated this international effort. The estimated finances that were allocated to the Human genome project are around $ 3 billion. These not include the privately funded organizations and companies, but only the government projects. Celera Genomic states that around $ 300 million dollars were spend for the project, which was much less than the government-funded project.
There were several main goals of the Human Genome project. The goals did not include only identifying the 3 billion nucleotides located in the DNA and to the discover 25 000 genes located there, but also to:
Store this information in databases,
Improve tools for data analysis,
Transfer related technologies to the private sector, and
Address the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project.
Due to the massive funding, interest and international effort as well ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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