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The Human Genome Project Project

  • Date Submitted: 05/17/2010 02:11 PM
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The Human Genome Project
Completed in 2003, The Human Genome Project (HGP) was a thirteen year project with the main goal of determining the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up DNA and to identify and map the approximately 20,000 to 25,000 genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional standpoint. Some benefits of the HGP are to predict and prevent diseases, to develop new and improved medicines, to ensure the accuracy of diagnosis, and to improve forensic science. The HGP was coordinated by the U.S. department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. During the early years of the HGP, the Wellcome Trust (U.K.) became a major partner, additional contributions came from Canada, New Zealand, Japan, France, Germany, China, and other countries.  
What is a Genome?
All the DNA in an organism, including its genes, is known as its genome. Genes carry information for making all the proteins required by all organisms and these proteins determine, for example, how the organism looks, how well it metabolizes food, and fights infections. DNA is made up of four different chemicals known as bases; adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G). These four bases are repeated millions or billions of times throughout a genome. The specific order of these bases is extremely important for it dictates the proteins formed in an organism. Every species has its own unique genome. In the human genome there are 23 pairs of chromosomes that are up to over 2 million base pairs in length. (The figure to the right depicts a normal human male karyotype). Since all organisms are related through similarities in DNA sequences, information gained from nonhuman genomes, such as gorillas, often lead to new knowledge about human biology.
Methods for Sequencing
There are many different methods of gene sequencing which were used in the human genome project but the following are the most prominent.
The primary method used by the HGP to produce the...

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