The Human Genome Project October 29, 2008
By Tracy Pliszka
The Human Genome Project (HGP) officially began in October of 1990 and was said to have been completed in 2003. It was supposed to be finished in 2005, but technical advances put the project ahead of schedule. The HGP was created in order to discover all of the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 human genes and allow them to be assessed for a more thorough biological study. This also included determining the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up DNA, improving tools for data analysis, storing the information in the databases, and address the ethical and social issues that may arise from the project.
Even though the Human Genome Project did not technically begin until 1990, the initiation of it began in 1984 by the United States Department of Energy. There, a report was written which stated “the ultimate goal of this initiative is to understand the human genome and “knowledge of the human genome is as necessary to the continuing progress of medicine and other health sciences as knowledge of human anatomy has been for the present state of medicine.” The project was first headed by James Watson of the United States National Institute of Health and was funded by the Wellcome Trust (U.K), Japan, France, Germany, and China. The total cost was approximately $3 billion dollars. However, in 1998, a man by the name of Craig Venter started a similar privately funded project of the same nature, but lost almost $50 billion when President Clinton announced that the genome sequence could not be patented, and should be made freely available to all researchers.
During the HGP, researchers collected blood from females and sperm from male donors. The scientists then used the white blood cells from the blood of two male and two female donors, which were all randomly selected from the 20 specimens and each yielded a separate...