What are the goals of the human genome project?

The Human Genome Project was started to accurately sequence 3 billion euchromatic human genome DNA base pairs within a period of 15 years

The human genome project was a 13 year long, international scientific research launched in 1990 with an objective of determining the sequence of the 3 billion DNA base pairs that make up the entire human genome. It is still the world’s largest collaborative project in the field of biological research. This project involved 20 universities and research centers from countries such as United States, United Kingdom, France, Japan, China, and Germany.

Goals of the human genome project

  • The main goal of the Human Genome Project was to determine a complete and accurate sequence of the 3 billion DNA base pairs that make up the entire euchromatic human genome within 15 years.
  • The goal was also intended to find all of the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 human genes.
  • This project mission also involved the sequence of genomes of several other organisms such as mouse and fruits fly that play a crucial role in medical research.
  • Along with DNA sequencing, the project involved the development of new tools for the collection and processing of the data and to make this information widely available.
  •  Exploring the consequences of genetics advancements and research through its Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) program.
First printout of the human genome

Accomplishments of the human genome project

  • One of the key findings of this project was approximately 22,300 protein-coding genes were found in human beings.
  • Research done in this project provided detailed information about the structure, organization, and function of the complete set of human genes.
  • The tools created during this project are extensively used in biological research to study the genomes of several organisms such as flatworms and mice.
  • Many social concerns such as the use of human genome data to discriminate people were raised during this project. Therefore, in 1996, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed in the USA to protect the unauthorized and non-consensual release of individually identifiable health information to any entity not actively engaged in the provision of healthcare services to a patient.

Participating Institutes and Research Centers

Following universities and research centers were part of this massive biological research initiative.

No.NationInstitute/Research Center
1USAThe Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research
2UKThe Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
3USAWashington University School of Medicine Genome Sequencing Center
4USAUnited States DOE Joint Genome Institute
5USABaylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center
6JapanRIKEN Genomic Sciences Center
7FranceGenoscope and CNRS UMR-8030
8USAGTC Sequencing Center
9GermanyDepartment of Genome Analysis
10ChinaBeijing Genomics Institute/Human Genome Center
11USAMultimegabase Sequencing Center
12USAStanford Genome Technology Center
13USAStanford Human Genome Center and Department of Genetics
14USAUniversity of Washington Genome Center
15JapanDepartment of Molecular Biology
16USAUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
17USAUniversity of Oklahoma’s Advanced Center for Genome Technology
18GermanyMax Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
19USALita Annenberg Hazen Genome Center
20GermanyGBF/German Research Centre for Biotechnology

Professor Atom

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Professor Atom is a science enthusiast and alumni of IIT Bombay. According to him, every question can be solved with curiosity and mind mapping. ( Curiosity = Asking Questions = Learning )

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