It is safe to say that one of the main purposes of science is to provide us with a life that is easy to live. At this time, we have already invented, created and discovered a lot of things that can help make our lives better with the help of science and as well as technology. Scientists have already conducted countless researches and experiments in order to find answers that can help benefit us especially in the field of health.
One of the known projects that have made global headlines is the Human Genome Project or the HGP. This is considered as an internationally collaborated venture that aims to identify, distinguish or mark all the locations of every gene of the human species. The HGP started in the year 1990 in the United States and was expected to be a 15 year effort in order to map the human genome. This project was completed sometime in the year 2003. The DOE or Department of Energy as well as the NIH or the National Institute of Health supports the project in the hopes of discovering 50,000 to 100,000 human genes that can be made available for further biological study. Aside from the US, other countries that are involved in the said project include Japan, Australia, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil and Canada. But what are the advantages of this 3 billion dollar project? In order to understand this better, below are some of the benefits of Human Genome Project.
The Pros of Having the Human Genome Project
The Human Genome Project is actually very handy in many different fields of studies. Some of the current and potential applications of this experiment include microbial genomics, bioarchaelogy, anthropology, molecular medicine, risk assessment, livestock breeding, agriculture, evolution, human migration, DNA forensics or identification and bioprocessing.
One of the well known benefits of the technology and resources that were promoted by the Human Genome Project is the positive impact on the field of biomedical research especially in clinical medicine. With the help of detailed genome maps, researchers were able to seek genes associated with dozens of genetic conditions. These conditions include myotonic dystrophy, fragile X syndrome, inherited colon cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, neurofibromatosis types 1 and 2 and as well as familial breast cancer. Because of this development, a new era of molecular medicine can be characterized less by treating symptoms and by analyzing more on the fundamental causes of the disease. This can also make rapid and more specific diagnostic examinations that can lead to immediate treatment and intervention to different types of maladies. Aside from these, medical researchers are also able to devise novel therapeutic regimens that are based on the new classes of immunotherapy techniques, drugs, and as well as the avoidance of environmental conditions that can increase the possibility of triggering the disease. This can also cause possible augmentation or replacement of the defective genes through the means of gene therapy. In addition, the research on human evolution can be a lot clearer and easier to understand due to the full and as well as detailed genome map that have been created.
Another positive effect of having the Human Genome Project is that it can cause a huge impact on the ability to assess the different risks posed to individuals through the exposure of harmful or toxic agents. Since we have genetic differences, this makes some more susceptible to disease compare to others who are more resistant. This project is also capable of assessing health damage caused by radiation exposure such as the low dose exposures. Aside from these wonderful benefits, HGP can also assess the damage and the risks that are caused by the exposure to the mutagenic chemicals and the cancer related toxins. The likelihood or inheriting genetic-related health problems are also significantly reduced.
Some of the other benefits of the Human genome Project
The other benefits include the following:
- Identify or distinguish the potential suspects by matching their DNA to the DNA that was found at the crime scene.
- This can also establish paternity and as well as other family relationships.
- HGP can likewise detect or identify the bacteria or other organisms that may have caused to pollute the air, soil, water or even food.
- It can also match the organ donors with the recipients of the transplant programs.
- It determines the pedigree for seed and/or livestock breeds
- Understands the disease vulnerabilities and reveals the different drug targets
- It is capable of monitoring the environment in order to detect pollutants.
- Protects from various types of biological and chemical warfare.
These are just an overview of the benefits of having the Human Genome Project or HGP. As we can see, projects and experimentations just like this must always be given its deserved attention and support. However, it is also important to make sure that the means in order to complete or acquire the expected goal/s must not violate any human laws or environment and/or animal rights.