Mapping the Human Gene
The project was started in 1990. It was initially an American undertaking but soon there were contributions from all over the world. Its primary objective was to determine the DNA sequence in the body.
Another one of its goals was to analyze and map the 25,000 genes in the body. The project was completed ahead of schedule. The only thing that remains now is to analyze the data. This however, can take years to finish.
The goals of the Human Genome Project can be divided into various categories. They are given below. The benefits from the project run the gamut from medicine to forensics.
Probably the biggest benefit will be in health. With the gene mapping completed, it’s easier to identify genes associated with diseases. The information gathered from genes can lead to development of needed medication. There is also the strong possibility of identifying the weak genes and replacing them.
Eliminate Environmental Problems
The technology arising from the project can also help the environment. The area of microbial genomics can lead to the development of new energy sources. As one of the goals of the Human Genome Project, it can reduce pollution. Already there is a lot of headway being made when it comes to making pollution detection tools.
By analyzing the genetic sequence of bacteria, ways and means of managing them can be developed. It gives scientists the chance to learn how it causes disease and how to fight it. Gaining deeper knowledge of microbes will also help in managing the environment.
Reducing Health Risks for People
The project can also limit the potential for health risks. A lot of diseases are caused by exposure to pollution and radiation. One of the goals of the Human Genome Project is reduce or eliminate this aspect. Related to this field of study are inherited diseases. By evaluating the genes, it may become possible to keep the ailments from being passed on.
Shedding Light on the Past
By evaluating the genes, more information about human evolution becomes possible. The genes in the body are subject to slight variations and mutations. This information will help scientists discover the physiological makeup of various races. It will also help establish the links between humans and other species in the animal kingdom.
Already, DNA is proving invaluable in solving crimes. But it can also be used to settle paternity cases and identify microorganisms that affect livestock. DNA and gene information can make it easier to identify and protect endangered animals.
Crops can be modified to make them more resistant to pestilence. It can also lead to the production of more nutritious food. It can also reduce the need to use pesticides and other chemicals.
The goals of the Human Genome Project encompass virtually all of human existence. There is no question it will take years before they are attained. But the first steps have been taken.