Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is the basic template for most living organisms. It is what makes humans individual and distinct or identical twins so similar. However, our own DNA, the human genome, is very complicated and there are many things still not understood. This would be the ultimate goal of The Human Genome Project: to understand the human genome. However mapping the human genome is a very ambitious project.
The humane genome contains over 3 billion nucleotides and the project was expected to take around 15 years. The project would be an international effort. There are scientists form the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Germany, Japan and other countries working on the project.
The important aspects of the Human Genome Project are numerous. It will provide more information about genetic diseases, which can lead to better treatment or cures. It will also lead to the development of gene databases. These databases will make it easier for scientists to study the human genome and make it easier for healthcare workers to identify carriers of a genetic disease so treatment can be administered sooner.
However the social, ethical and legal aspects of this new DNA knowledge and these techniques must be considered. This is why another very important purpose of the project is to create guidelines dealing with the social, legal and ethical implications of DNA information and technology.
One of the main goals and most important benefits of the Human Genome Project is to increase understanding of genetic diseases. The Human Genome Project has created a database which shows the coding of many genes in the human body. This makes it much easier for doctors or healthcare professionals to locate areas of the gene that might be susceptible to genetic diseases, or locate areas where genetic mutations commonly occur.
For many years we have developed ways to treat the symptoms of a disease. However a new treatment option that is developing rapidly is the idea of gene therapy. Gene therapy is used to combat genetic diseases by treating the genotype rather than the phenotype. The Human Genome Project can provide many benefits for gene therapy.
The first benefit is discovering where genetic mutations that cause certain genetic diseases are found within the human genome. The locations of many genes which cause genetic diseases have already been identified. Some of these include cystic fibrosis and Huntington's. The databases and information provided by the Human Genome Project also make it easier for doctors to access information about genetics and make it easier for them to identify and interpret mutations in the DNA.
Another extremely important benefit of the Human Genome Project is the development of new technology. The Human Genome Project is a very ambitious undertaking and it required a lot of new technological developments in order to make it possible. One technological benefit is the development of the shotgun method for DNA sequencing. This is a much faster way to sequence DNA than the "BAC-to-BAC" method, which was previously used. This makes DNA sequencing much faster and easier because it cuts out steps that were necessary in older methods.
The Human Genome Project is also responsible for the development of new DNA screening technology that can help to identify the presence or absence of a certain gene within an individual's DNA. Some examples of this technology are the use of DNA microchips, and the use of improved DNA probes. This new technology is important because it makes further study in genetics possible.
At this point, a rough copy of the DNA sequencing has been completed; this is even a couple years ahead of schedule. However there is still much work to be done. Now that most of the genes have been sequenced, the main goal of the project is shifting to figuring out the purpose of every gene.
Another thing that is being looked at now is the purpose of introns. There is also much more information related to genetic diseases to be looked at. This includes identifying more genes that cause genetic diseases and developing pharmaceutical products that can combat them or even prevent them from developing in the first place. However this new technology and information raises many ethical issues.
There is the issue of whether or not genetic screening should be done. There are many benefits to it, including the ability to identify genetic diseases early and commence treatment as soon as possible. However there are also some serious issues against it including the development of a genetic underclass if employers are allowed to use genetic information in order to make hiring decisions.
There are also concerns about issues that might develop in the future. These include issues such as the use of genetic information in human cloning and the use of genetic information to influence the development of certain traits in a baby. This is why one of the main goals of the Human Genome Project is also to develop legal guidelines relating to genetics.
The Human Genome Project is a very ambitious and costly project but it was definitely worth the time and money invested in it. The Human Genome Project is crucial for the further development of gene therapy and the treatment of genetic diseases. The project not only makes it easier for scientists to study the human genome but also makes it easier for doctors to identify and interpret genetic mutations.
The Human Genome Project continues to provide benefits for the future study of genetics by creating valuable genetic technology such as the shotgun sequencing method. Other technological benefits were created for identifying the presence of genes including advancements involving DNA probes. The Human Genome Project has accomplished a lot but there is still much more to be learned. There are also many ethical issues to face and it is important that the creation of legal guidelines can keep up with the fast pace of genetic research, so the valuable information gained from this project is not abused. The Human Genome Project has had many benefits already and will continue to contribute valuable information to the study of genetics in the future