The Human Genome Project
The HGP is basically a 13 – year project that was sponsored by the United States Department of Energy and the National Institute of Health to decode the more than 25,000 genes in a person’s body to make these discovered patterns ready for future biological studies. The project started on 1983 where LLNA(Los Alamos National Laboratory) and LLNL - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory begin with the production of DNA clones of single chromosomes that allowed scientists to separately observe different genetic make – up that consist of one chromosome. Due to this promising start, different companies, private and public started funding these different projects to name ...view middle of the document...
The very principle that these different goals are rooted on is simply scientific progress for a step forward towards understanding the human body and progress as a whole.
Mainly as a study for Human Research the benefits poses huge steps in the society i.e. Molecular medicine, HGP helps in this field because it attempts to unlock the very core genes that makes up the human body which in turn allows the scientists to look at the very root causes of major untreatable diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer in all forms and many more. HGP paves the way for greater technological advances to address these ailments and create better alternatives or treatments to stop or at least ameliorate living conditions of people stricken by such diseases. In the field of Energy and Environment, Microbial genomics research, a branch of HGP, help in creating alternative sources of energy, develop methods to detect pollutants, and allows for an easy carbon sequestration all these through MGR studying the very nature of these microbes. In forensics, HGP allows the establishment of a DNA database so that evidence gathering can be more detailed and at the same time fast, simply on easing problems on identification. Agriculture and livestock, through HGP, further developments on GMO’s, preserving and breeding of animals through having a greater precedents on developments on human gene mapping.
For better or worse, society seem to see the impact of HGP as something positive to the community; however, some ethical questions arise from the scholars and the masses re: HGP having its negative impact on the moral fabric of society. 3 major questions are asked.
1.) Fairness on the use of information gathered and Privacy of information garnered – who should have access to all these vast information and how shall these be used? Who owns and controls the flow of information gathered through HGP?
This question lies on the concept that most people tend to abuse such information that is garnered from such a powerful project. Fearing that this is always the case in every similar situations that men was blinded by power. With HGP, this surely is a question that needs to be clarified.
This question was catered to by the U.S government by enacting the Genetic Non – discriminatory Act. This law provided that protection of employees to not be discriminated on the basis of their genetic make-up. This set a precedent for further legislations...