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The Human Genome Project (HGP)

  Mar 24, 2017

The Human Genome Project (HGP)

Human Genome Project, an international collaboration that successfully determined, stored, and rendered publicly available the sequences of almost all the genetic content of the chromosomes of the human organism, otherwise known as the human genome.
The Human Genome Project (HGP), which operated from 1990 to 2003, provided researchers with basic information about the sequences of the three billion chemical base pairs that make up human genomic DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The Human Genome Project was further intended to improve the technologies needed to interpret and analyse genomic sequences, to identify all the genes encoded in human DNA, and to address the ethical, legal, and social implications that might arise from defining the entire human genomic sequence.

How the Project began?
The Human Genome Project was initiated in 1990 under the leadership of American geneticist Francis Collins, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The effort was soon joined by scientists from around the world.

Science Behind the Human Genome Project
Classical genetics is considered to have begun in the mid-1800s with the work of Gregor Mendel, who defined the basic laws of genetics.
Mendel succeeded in explaining that, for any given gene, offspring inherit from each parent one form, or allele, of a gene. In addition, the allele that an offspring inherits from a parent for one gene is independent of the allele inherited from that parent for another gene.
The field of molecular genetics emerged from the realization that DNA and RNA (ribonucleic acid) constitute the genetic material in all living things. In physical terms, a gene is a discrete stretch of nucleotides within a DNA molecule, with each nucleotide containing an A, G, T, or C base unit. It is the specific sequence of these bases that encodes the information contained in the gene and that is ultimately translated into a final product, a molecule of protein or in some cases a molecule of RNA.
Using data from the Human Genome Project, scientists have estimated that the human genome contains anywhere from 20,000 to 25,000 genes.

Advances Based On the Human Genome Project
Advances in genetics and genomics continue to emerge. Two important advances include: Impacts of The Human Genome Project Comparative DNA sequence analyses of samples representing distinct modern populations of humans have revolutionized the field of anthropology. For example, by following DNA sequence variations present on mitochondrial DNA, which is maternally inherited, and on the Y chromosome, which is paternally inherited, molecular anthropologists have confirmed Africa as the cradle of the modern human species, Homo sapiens.

HGP: Read and Write Plans for the project have already set off an ethical debate, because the ability to chemically fabricate the complete set of human chromosomes could theoretically allow the creation of babies without biological parents.