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Human Genome Project - Essay Example

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The Human Genome Project (HGP) is one of the most important projects in the history of mankind which will provide considerable benefits to entire humanity as the sequencing of human genomes will generate break through advances in the field of medicine. Thus the HGP is a sponsored program of the Department of Energy and National Institutes of Health Genome Programs as a national effort which planned to categorize all human genetic information by totally identifying the sequence of the DNA in the human genome…
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Human Genome Project
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Download file to see previous pages The private sector also pursues only those projects which do not need extensive investments over a prolonged period, can generate profits within a reasonable time and do not have long gestation period.. Public enterprises on the other hand cannot be seen to operate only under consideration of profit and have to act in the interest of the larger public good. However efficiencies in the public sector are limited as incentives and motivations do not encourage a culture of efficiency and urgency. While keeping in view its importance, the HGP has to be pursued with greater speed and exigency. This entails a private and public partnership which can seek the benefits of both the sectors and has been the trend in pursuance of the HGP.
Thus there are a number of privately funded concerns such as Celera Genomics and Incyte who are involved in the HGP while international and national government bodies such as the National Institute of Health, US Welcome Trust, and Sanger Institute in the UK are also very intimately involved in these projects. A similar initiative in the international field is the pursuance of the Human Genome Initiative or HGI which is attempting to map a comprehensive genetic and physical mads for every single human chromosome for all the known 24 ones and also evolve a total DNA sequence of the human genome. This is also following a private-public partnership based on complexity of the project and need for greater impetus.

Economic Benefit

The HGP is a project with extensive applications in wide ranging fields such as clinical medicine, agriculture and livestock, industrial processes, environmental biotechnology and DNA finger printing. (Giants, 2005). Most of the research is pioneering with limited precedence. The economic benefit of a private-public partnership is particularly evident in the HGP. This requires very heavy investments which have a long period of gestation. The public sector has the capacity to absorb such long term investments easily as financing of public projects is made on a long term basis. However there are limitations to which specific projects can be financed by public funds and there are invariably far too many caveats for expenditure of public money. This shortcoming of public funding can be overcome by use of private investments. Thus venture capitalists, investors and stock owners can be brought in to invest in projects as they are willing to put in money in companies which are profit making. The HGP is considered a highly lucrative project commercially and has numerous spin offs and hence a large number of companies are willing to invest in these projects. It is estimated by Nature magazine that the bioinformatics industry will have an output in excess of $1 billion per year. (Nature, 2001). Thus the scale of investments that can come in through these private and public partnerships is very high and cannot be envisaged if these are undertaken only through initiatives by either of the sectors.

Overcoming Bureaucratic Restrictions of the Public Sector

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