What is The Human Genome Project?

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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Should man govern nature? This is a question that has been posed more often recently than ever before. Human will soon know the secret to life and be able to use that secret in many different ways. This is all made possible by a nation-wide research effort called the Human Genome Project.

The research will allow doctors to correct genetic disorders before children are born, eliminate the often-fatal problems associated with babies born prematurely, and to cure diseases such as AIDS. The problem with this project is not the doctors, scientists, and other researchers investigating the genes. They are out to help people and are not doing this to get rich. Large corporations, such as insurance companies, and governments are looking to save money on future policyholders through the use of genetic testing.

"Good science can only happen with good scientists. Yet some early critics had predicted that the mind-numbing scale and need for carrying out many repetitive tasks would make the HGP unappealing to the brightest and best minds in the scientific community.

But those pessimists had failed to account for the compelling vision represented by the HGP--a project that would only be done once in human history" (Collins, Morgan, & Patrinos, 2003, p.286).

"Now, at the dawning of the genome era, it is critical that we encourage the same intensity toward deriving medical benefits from the genome that has characterized the historic effort to obtain the sequence. If research support continues at vigorous levels, we imagine that genome science will soon begin revealing the mysteries of hereditary factors in heart disease, cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia, and a host of other conditions. Genomics holds the promise of "individualized medicine," tailoring prescribing practices and management of patients to each person's genetic profile" (Collins, Morgan, & Patrinos, 2003, p. 290).