5.6- The Human Genome Project

  • Created by: Rebecca
  • Created on: 21-06-11 19:44

Aims of the Project:

  • A genome is all the DNA in an organism, including its genes. 
  • Genes carry the information for making all the protein required by an organism.
  • These proteins determine, amongst other things, the appearance of an organism, how it fights infection and perhaps even how it behaves.
  • The main aims of the project are:
  • Determine the sequence of the four bases, A, T, G and C through all the human DNA.
  • Identify all the genes formed by the bases/
  • Find the location of the genes on the 23 human chromosomes.
  • Store all this information on databases.
  • Consider all the ethical, social and legal issues which arise from obtaining information about the human genome.

Beneficial Applications of the Project:

  • One of the main benefits is that the information enables scientists to known exactly which sections of the DNA, on which chromosomes, are responsible for the many different inherited diseases.
  • For some types of gene tests researchers design short pieces of DNA called probes, the sequence of which are complimentary to the mutated sequences.
  • These probes will seek out their compliment among the 3 million base pairs of an individual's genome.
  • If the mutation is present, the probe will bind to it and flag the mutation.
  • Another DNA test involves comparing the sequence of DNA in a patient's gene to a normal version of the gene. 
  • Cost of testing can be very expensive and depends on the size of the genes are the number of mutations being testing for.

Main Uses of Genetic Testing:

  • Carrier screening, which involves checking for a recessive gene.
  • Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.
  • Pre-natal diagnostic testing.
  • Newborn baby screening.
  • Pre-symptomatic testing for predicting adult onset disorders, for example, huntington's disease.
  • Pre-symptomatic testing for estimating the risk of developing adult onset diseases, for example, Alzheimer's.
  • Confirmation that


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