5 Things About Human Genome Project That Will Blow Your Mind Away
The human genome project is considered as one of the most challenging projects of all time. With this project, humans were on their way to embark on a journey which would revolutionize molecular and genetic biology. It took thirteen long years to successfully get the project completed.
At the end, phenomenal discoveries were made, equipping us with the tool of human genetic information. Let’s discover the various aspects of much-discussed HGP (Human Genome Project):-
What was the aim of this project?
Human DNA is made up of four nucleotide bases. All the bases are aligned in pairs. This project was aimed towards identifying the location, alignment and the functions of these nucleotide base pair. Decoding the entire DNA was not possible, as they exist in the complex coiled state. Certain parts of it were methodically identified and the final result was a collection of these data.
Why this project was controversial?
Human genome project involved investments in billions. With limited resources, this meant that money would be diverted from regular research fields for this project. With that amount of money involved, soon this project became a topic of national and political interests. With prolonged initial hindrance, finally, this project was initiated by Francis Collin, an American geneticist in 1990.
What was the ethical side of this project?
With discrimination and subjugation of people based on their race, color and ethnic group by others, this project posed an ethical dilemma. Knowing the whole genome meant that, on the basis of certain DNA results people can be branded. Thus organization barring certain sections from availing the services based on these results. It posed a threat to the genetic level. Thus to protect the core cause from these issues, Ethical, Legal, Social Implications (ELSI) program was established alongside the actual project.
Who got paid for all the discovered information?
Alongside US Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health, many other private companies also made considerable efforts in decoding the human genome. With the possibility of its application, the patents would be invaluable.
But President Bill Clinton publically announces that the genome sequence is not patentable. Though the biotechnology sectors incurred heavy losses, it did a great deal of good to researchers around the globe. The available genome data turned out to be the pillar for path-breaking research.
What were the contributions of this mammoth of a project?
The project contributed in major fields like forensic science, genetic biodiversity, evolutionary biology and vastly to medical sciences. Even before the onset of few diseases with the help of the genomic data it became possible to assess the possible outcomes of them and be much better prepared.
With the success of this project, genome base companies have cropped up providing personalized services like DNA heritage test, personalized DNA test kits, family tree construction etc. With passing time more and more new data are added to this venture of Human genome project. All in all, this entire project has successfully revolutionized how we see human species as a whole.