What is the Human Genome Project and what are its advantage and disadvantages?

Human Genome refers to the entire genetic make up of human beings and every human cell contains around 4000 genes. The Human Genome project is an international research programme deigned to construct detailed genetic and physical maps of the human genome to determine the complete nucleotide sequence of human DNA, to localize the estimated 50,000-1, 00,000 genes with the human genome and to perform similar analysis on the genomes of several other organism used extensively in research laboratories as model systems.

The scientific products of human Genome project will comprise a resource of detailed information about the structure, organization and function of Human DNA, information that constitutes the basic set of inherited "instructions" for the development and functioning of human being. The Human Genome project was conceived in the mid-1980s and was widely discussed within the scientific communicating and public press.

Advantages

a) In the field of molecular - medicine it will help to improve diagnosis of diseases, early detection of genetic diseases and gene therapy. Genetic has also the potential to reveal the differences between the individuals so that suitable treatment can be prescribed and national drug design can be undertaken. Thus treatment can be more focused and effective based on individual requirement.

b) DNA forensics can be used in identifying war victim's particularly dead soldiers whose bodies are mutilated beyond recognition. It can provide full proof results in ascertaining disputed parentage, criminal justice can be more effective with the help of DNA forensics and people who commit murder of rape can be provided with evidences against them.

c) In the field of agriculture and livestock breeding understanding of plant and animal genome will help us to create stronger and more .disease resistant plant and animals. It will also help in the development of bio pesticide and edible vaccines incorporated into food products.

Disadvantages of HGP

(i) It may lead to parents attempting to determine which character their off spring shall inherit. This will lead to the development of designer baby.

(ii) This may restrict the human gene pool and interface with natural selection and loss of diversity among the human population.

(iii) Misuse of genetic information may violate genetic privacy Also health or life insurance policies may be deemed to an individual on the basis of his genetic information

(iv) It can be misused for developing weapon of mass destruction.

(v) It could also develop racial discrimination.

(vi) The success of HGP may widen the gap between developed and developing, as only the rich countries alone would be able to enjoying the advance medical treatment.