ESL 91
SPRING, 2002


Anna Levina

ESL 91

Spring, 2002


Project Topic: Research in genetics has produced many important discoveries such as the structure and function of DNA. In the past several years a large project, known as the Human Genome Project, has been undertaken to try to determine the details of the complete set of human genes. Describe the Human Genome Project, and explain some of the important issues involved in it.


One of the main international projects is the Human Genome Project (HGP). The project formally began in October of 1990 and main goal of this research was to define the more than 30,000 human genes and specify their biological needs.  One of the other goals of the HGP project is to find the nature of chronological order of the 3 billion DNA subunits.  The study of human genes and DNA will provide the researchers with the kind of information that will be the base of structure and function of DNA in chromosomes.  It will bring the world to a new era where ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat different kinds of illnesses will be possible.  The ability to read humans genes will direct us to new ways to prevent approximately 5000 genetic diseases such as Huntington's disease, Parkinson diseases, cystic fibrosis, and thousands of others.

When scientists find an answer to which DNA order change affects certain diseases, people with a danger for various genetic diseases will be examined and informed whether they are at risk of developing such illnesses as diabetes or cancer.  The hereditary information will help people to know and understand their problem about the genetic coding they are carrying and whether they will have any kinds of diseases later in life.

Each person has at least 20 genes that could develop dangerous diseases or handicaps in the future.  Most of the 7,000 existing genetic disorders are dominant. Usually dominant disorders are not passed through generations because people with these kinds of disabling disorders usually are not able to have children.  But there are some diseases that have their genes inactive for a certain time and then the genes that remained “quiet”, suddenly become an active. One of such examples is a Huntington’s disease.  People with this kind of disease live a normal life.  They can get married, have children and then gene which was inactive for a long time becomes dominant. Usually this gene very slowly, with some exceptions, destroys the central nervous system of the person.  Another one of these dominant disorders which can be cruel, is Tourette’s syndrome .  People with this disorder inherit the harmful gene which affects their behavior and makes them experience unmanageable tics and unstable sudden verbal speech. 

Different kinds of researches show that some genes are passed only from mother to son. Most of the time, this will result in color blindness.  Genes influence each process in human the body including intellectual skill, mental sickness and personality prototype.  More studying will lead to more detailed predictions about certain diseases. The HGP will help accurately diagnose different diseases and provide most powerful treatment.  For example, genetic fingerprints will allow doctors to receive more information on people with cancer, who are facing chemotherapy.  By these genetic fingerprints doctors will be able to tell the person which chemotherapy alternative can be most affective.

In many cases, instead of replacing a gene, it may be more helpful to find a certain gene’s  protein product. It is an important step to make possible to take control of a small molecule that will cooperate with the protein to adjust its routine and behavior.  The development of this plan will help people with leukemia.

So far, thousands of genes have been discovered. Some of them are related to breast cancer, kidney disease, deafness and diabetes.  The Human Genome Project will continue work on making all of its information accessible to scientists, physicians and privately supported researchers in the whole world without any cost in order that the result will be used for the public good. One of the important products of the HGP will be upgrading technology for biomedical research. It is very clear that initiation of the HGP use and specific understanding of genetic knowledge will create a number of rules and policies for public and professional consideration. The development of the policies and analyzing of the ethical, officially permitted and social proposition is another main component of Human Genome Project. In his speech on June 25, 2000 President Clinton “recognized that research and development by biotechnology companies will be key to the translation of human genome sequence data into useful, new healthcare products”. The President underlined his support for genetic findings to be patented. He sad, that the protection of genetic findings, with existing law, will help to convert the basic knowledge and important studies into very useful applications.

My Response

As life goes on, we meet more and more people with different kinds of genetic disorders.  I personally know people with Huntington and Parkinson disease. I always feel a deep pain for them.  Those humans’ tragedies are always on my mind. It is a heartbreak to know a person who was a great intellectual, a healthy human being that was suddenly diagnosed with an untreatable disorder. It is a pain watching his gradual degradation: in his speech, his memory, his way of thinking, walking, understanding and recognizing people around him. You want to stop these declining processes, you want to help, but these diseases are much stronger then we are.  From studying and writing about my research on Human Genome Project I found out a lot of knowledgeable information about genetic disease and development of new ways in order to fight with them.  My research gave me a seed of hope for those people who are suffering, for our and future generations.

I really appreciate Dr. Kasper for a very interesting course where besides learning English, we have also learned all those interesting facts which are improving our cognitive development. 


“History of the Human Genome Project.” The Human Genome Project Information. Online:

Berger, Kathleen Stassen. The Developing Person Through the Life Span. New York:

Worth, 2001.

“President Clinton Announces the Completion of the First Survey of the Entire Human Genome: Hails Public and Private Efforts Leading to This Historic Achievement. June 25, 2000. “ The Human Genome Project Information. Online:

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Victor Brizin
ESL 91
Spring, 2002

Project Topic: Research in genetics has produced many important discoveries such as the structure and function of DNA. In the past several years a large project, known as the Human Genome Project, has been undertaken to try to determine the details of the complete set of human genes. Describe the Human Genome Project, and explain some of the important issues involved in it.

Genome (definition)

The Human Genome Project is an international project, which started in October 1990 and seeks to understand the diversity and unity of the entire human species. A genome is all the DNA in an organism, including it genes. Genes carry information for making all the proteins required by all organisms. These proteins determine, among other things, how the organism looks, how well its body metabolizes food or fights infection, and sometimes even how it behaves.

Because all organisms are related through similarities in DNA sequences, new information about nonhuman genomes often lead to new knowledge about human biology. To understand the idea of the size of human genome, which present in each of our cells, we need to imagine the equivalent of 200 volumes. The size of Manhattan telephone book (at 1000 page each) would be needed to hold it all.

The Human Genome Project is a continuing international effort to the map the positions of each of the human genes on the chromosomes and to find the sequence of the chemical building blocks that make up the genes. Probable that these tasks will take at least 15 years. For several years, the Human Genome Project has done successful work in mapping and sequencing human and other genomes.

The HG Project is an effort by anthropologists, geneticists, doctors, linguists, and other scholars from around the world to document the genetic variation of the human species worldwide. This scientific endeavor is designed to collect information on human genome variation to help us to understand the genetic disposition of all humanity. The information would also used to learn about human biological history, the biological relationships among different human groups. This information may be useful in understanding the causes of and determining the treatment of particular human diseases.

The Project will also provide increased knowledge about the factors that lead to disease or to health. People vary in their defenselessness to different diseases, and much of the explanation will be due to environmental factors like diet, genetic predispositions play a role in many cases. The collection and analysis of DNA samples may help lead to the identification of genetic factors in some human diseases and probably to ways to treat or prevent those diseases.

Different cultures and different people will find different important things about the HG Project. All human groups interested in their origins; many from they interested in scientific evidence about those origins. Those frequencies can be used to see, for example, how the Irish are more closely related to the Spaniards or to the Swedes. The kinds of genetic differences among individuals are responsible for different blood types or the genes, which lead to some people having narrow noses and others wide noses; someone has dark hair and another light hair These differences can still be used to help understand relationships between different populations. HGP will help clarify the major human migrations. It can help tell us, for example, whether different migrations brought Native Americans to the Western Hemisphere from Asia or whether a single group is ancestral to all modern Native Americans. Because migrating peoples carry their languages with them, it may be possible to learn how people speaking Bantu languages expanded through much of sub-Saharan Africa in the last two millennia or how the Indo-European languages broaden through Europe and Asia.

Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Research

These programs have resulted in a body of work that promotes education and helps guide the conduct of genetic research and the development of related medical and public policies. A continuing challenge is to safeguard the privacy of individuals and groups who contribute DNA samples for large-scale sequence-variation studies. Other concerns, how the resulting data may affect concepts of race and ethnicity; identify potential uses (or misuses) of genetic data in workplaces, schools, and courts; identify commercial uses; and foresee impacts of genetic advances on the concepts of humanity and personal responsibility.

My response

During my work with HGP, I found a lot of interesting information about medicine and biology, ethics and antropology, culture and race. The HGP excited me with its size, budget and goals. I discovered that many problems and facts in our world are strongly connected and have a big influence on everyday life.

The Human Genome Project will reap fantastic benefits for our civilization. The genome map will help people to fight with dangerous genetic illnesses, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's diseases. The information from HGP would also used to learn about human biological history and the biological relationships among different human groups. Generations of biologists and researchers will be provided with detailed DNA information and that will unbelievably change all our future. I hope for the better.

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