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Benefits of Human Genome Project

By: Wong Hon Long

Technology and resources promoted by the Human Genome Project have profound impacts on biomedical research especially in clinical medicine. Increasingly detailed genome maps have aided researchers seeking genes associated with dozens of genetic conditions, including myotonic dystrophy, fragile X syndrome, neurofibromatosis types 1 and 2, inherited colon cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and familial breast cancer. This will provoke a new era of molecular medicine characterized less by treating symptoms and more by looking to the most fundamental causes of disease. Rapid and more specific diagnostic tests will make possible earlier treatment of countless maladies. Medical researchers also will be able to devise novel therapeutic regimens based on new classes of drugs, immunotherapy techniques, avoidance of environmental conditions that may trigger disease, and possible augmentation or even replacement of defective genes through gene therapy. Besides, research on human evolution become easier and clearer when a full and detailed genome map have been created.

Understanding the human genome will have an enormous impact on the ability to assess risks posed to individuals by exposure to toxic agents. Scientists know that genetic differences make some people more susceptible and others more resistant to such agents. Human Genome Project technologies also can help to assess health damage and risks caused by radiation exposure, including low-dose exposures. Furthermore, damage and risks caused by exposure to mutagenic chemicals and cancer-causing toxins also can be assessed. Consequently, the likelihood of heritable mutations can be reduced.

Other benefits gained from the human genome project towards improvement of human life include:

identify potential suspects whose DNA may match evidence left at crime scenes
establish paternity and other family relationships
detect bacteria and other organisms that may pollute air, water, soil, and food
match organ donors with recipients in transplant programs
determine pedigree for seed or livestock breeds
understanding disease vulnerabilities and revealing drug targets
environmental monitoring to detect pollutants
protection from biological and chemical warfare

( www.medical-explorer.com )

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About The Author, Wong Hon Long

Male, Malaysian
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