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Redefining Life

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Redefining Life
The Human Genome Project (HGP) began in 1990 with the primary goal of determining what makes up the human DNA, identifying the total genes, and mapping the human genome. The sequencing of the human genome is the largest undertaking in biological science, and is a huge achievement in the scientific community. The project was completed in 2003 and gave scientists the ability to read nature’s genetic blueprint of a human being.
Those scientists and medical professionals who were excited about the HGP saw clearly how genomics would advance medicine. Genomic findings have advanced the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. “Already, doctors can better categorize some cancers by examining the constellation of genomic changes in an individual tumor rather than simply establishing the anatomical origins of that tumor; this refined categorization will often lead to more appropriate treatment” (Nov. 2011: Human Genome Project Produces Many Benefits, n.d.).
Medical treatments for common medical issues are also benefiting from the HGP. Some medications can be effected by gene variants that compromise the effectiveness of the medication while other gene variants can heighten the effectiveness. “Testing the patient’s genome first can make the treatment more effective by minimizing the risk of prescribing the wrong dose” (Nov. 2011: Human Genome Project Produces Many Benefits, n.d.).
What the HGP did when it achieved its goal of identifying all the genes in human DNA, and determining the sequences of the chemical base pairs was to open the field of behavioral genetics. Some argue that the HGP would cause people to be less tolerant and accepting of the differences people have. Others argue that people would seek to control the traits their children would have. Still others argue that discrimination would exist in the workforce, in the obtaining of...

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