The Human Genome Project: Cracking the Genetic Code of Life

The Human Genome Project: Cracking the Genetic Code of Life

The Human Genome Project: Cracking the Genetic Code of Life

The Human Genome Project: Cracking the Genetic Code of Life

Synopsis

This is a study of genetic mapping. The first six chapters address "molecular biology in a historical framework.... Mapping and various kinds ofmaps (genetic, physical, sequence) are discussed.... (Genetic disease), diagnosis, and therapy, constitute Chapter 8. Chapter 9 outlines the evolution of the sequencing plan as it grew out of a series of conferences.... Chapter 10 reviews the questions involving science policy and allocation of available funds among various sectors of the biomedical research establishment. Chapter 11 covers the relationship of genome sequencing to disease, ethical issues,and social implications of genomic knowledge (medical care, employment, and insurance issues)." (Choice)

Excerpt

A scientific research effort is currently under way which is unlike anything ever before attempted. International in its scope, it is enormously expensive and, if successful, could lead to our ultimate control of human disease, aging, and death. It is nothing short of a revolution against the way science has traditionally progressed. The plans have ignited fervent enthusiasm among many in the scientific community; others have attacked it as wildly optimistic. It has come to be known as the Human Genome Project (HGP), and its findings may radically change and enrich our lives, while opening up a bewildering array of serious ethical dilemmas.

The goal of this project is nothing less than determining the precise location and molecular details of all of the genes and interconnecting segments which make up the human chromosomes. Since genes are the tiny but complex chemical segments that control the activities of the cells and hence those of the entire organism, such knowledge would be an extraordinarily powerful tool to explore what are now unfathomable mysteries of human development and disease.

In the following pages we will explore the methods and significance of this awesome undertaking and tell the tale of the personalities, institutions, and controversies involved. The extraordinary developments beginning as recently as 1970 that have led to the possibility of even conceiving of such a project will be explained as well. We hope to bridge the gap between the arcane world of the laboratory scientist and the experience of those of our readers not necessarily formally trained in the . . .

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