Human Genome Project and DNA Fingerprinting

Human Genome Project:

Genetics is the branch of biology that deals with the study of heredity and variation.
The most advancement in the field of genetics is the Human Genome Project (HGP). It was a 13-year mega project 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. Apart from that, additional contributions came from Japan, France, Germany, China, and others. It was accomplished in the year 2003. The goals of the HGP were
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Determining the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that constitute human DNA. identifying all the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA, storing all this information in databases, improving tools for data analysis, transferring related technologies to the private sector, and Addressing the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project.

Though the HGP is finished, analyses of the data are still continuing for many years. Importance of Genome: Genome is the entire DNA in an organism, including its genes. Genes carry information for making all the proteins required by all organisms. These proteins determine, among other things, how the organism looks, how well its body metabolizes food or fights infection, and sometimes even how it behaves. DNA is made up of four similar chemicals (called bases and abbreviated A, T, C, and G) that are repeated millions or billions of times throughout a genome. The human genome, for example, has 3 billion pairs of bases. Assigning the genetic and physical maps on the genome is the next challenging task where researches are under progress. Many non – human experimental organisms like yeast, bacteria, Drosophila (fruit fly), Caenorhabditis elegans (a free living nematode) have been sequenced for their genomes. DNA finger printing: The differences in the sequences of DNA give every individual unique in their phenotypic appearance. DNA finger printing is the technique which involves the identification of

differences in some specific regions called ‘repetitive DNA’ in the sequence of DNA in the genome. Since this repetitive DNA contains a small stretch of DNA repeated many a times, it is easy to identify the variations between individuals without overwhelming task of comparing the entire genome. This works on the basis of polymorphism in DNA sequences. It has its wider applications in field of medical biotechnology, forensic science, genetic biodiversity and evolutionary biology. Having a thorough knowledge about the effects of DNA variations among individuals can lead to revolutionary new ways to diagnose, treat, and someday prevent the thousands of disorders that affect us. Besides from providing clues to understand the human biology, the study about nonhuman organisms' DNA sequences can lead to an understanding of their natural capabilities. We can apply those potential characteristics toward solving challenges in health care, agriculture, energy production and also in environmental remediation. _____________________________________________

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