Human Genome Project and its Purpose


The Human Genome Project was started by the U.S Department of Energy and National Institutes of Health in 1990. The Project officially ended in 2003.The Human Genome Project was designed to decode more than the 3 billion nucleotides contained in a haploid reference genome. The project was created to identify all of the genes in the human genome. Scientists were also told to do chromosome and gene mapping. In addition to this, they were expected to figure out the location and composition of the 100,000 human genes. The final act of the project was to store all the newfound information in their databases.

The reason this project was started was because any of the disorders and diseases found in our society was caused by mutations within the human gene. In fact, it is estimated that there are over 3,000 diseases like this. Another main factor in the creation of this project was the worldly question of how the human fertilized egg is able to give birth to so many specialized cells. A third reason for the production of this project is the creation of new technology to better understand the human genome.

The main disorders that the project was used for were:

1. Schizophrenia - is a severe, lifelong brain disorder. People who have it may hear voices, see things that aren't there or believe that others are reading or controlling their minds.
2. Alzheimer’s disease - is a neurodegenerative disease that, in its most common form, is found in people over age 65. Approximately 24 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s.
3. Manic depression - refers to mood swings from overly “high” (manic) to overly “low” (depressed). Another name for manic-depressive illness is bipolar disorder. This refers to a person’s mood alternating between “poles” of mania (highs) and depression (lows). Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual changes in the person’s mood, energy, and ability to function.
4. Sickle Cell Anemia – caused by mutations in the protein hemoglobin. Causes blood cells to form clots in blood vessels.
5. Cancer – occurs when cells replicate uncontrollably.
6. Birth Defects – can occur from mutations inside the zygote
7. Diabetes – is formed when there is a change in the regulation of insulin


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