The human genome is the information on the make up of man which happens to be stored on 23 pairs of chromosomes in the human DNA. It is estimated that there are between 20,000 – 25,000 genes and about three billion pairs of DNA base pairs. In 2003 a project initiated by the US Department along with the National Institute of Health partnered with the Wellcome Trust (UK) and other nations such as Japan and France.
There were certain specific goals for this project which were as follows:
. To find all the possible thousands of genes in the human DNA
2. To find the sequence of the three billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA
3. Provide a data base and store this information
4. Improve tools for data analysis
5. Transfer related technologies to the private sector
6. Address the legal, ethical and social issues that may arise from the project.
This information could be used to track diseases and perhaps find cures. Although the project (HGP) is complete the analysis is expected to continue for an indefinite period of time. The most important feature of this project not withstanding analysis is still ongoing, is the transfer of the technology to the private sector by the federal government, licensing the technologies and encouraging innovative research by the private sector. This aided the biotechnology industry and facilitated the production of new products used widely in biomedical sciences. Technology continues to expand and knowledge increase which brings hope of ground breaking discoveries in the future.