The data gleaned from the Human Genome Project (HGP) has had multifarious benefits in the field of medicine, pharmaceuticals and human reproduction. The HGP has also thrown fresh light on man’s evolution from the apes and other mammals.
Data collected since the project was completed in 2003 is still being analyzed and interpreted. Some of the conclusions have opened new avenues for further research. Even during the pendency of the project, information was used to develop and conduct genetic tests to identify vulnerability of individuals to certain diseases like cystic fibrosis, breast cancer, haematosis disorders and liver diseases. The project has opened a fresh insight into other diseases like cancers of different sorts and Alzheimer’s, and their management. The list is by no means comprehensive. Other areas in medical research have relied heavily on the data generated by the project.
Medical researchers have often zeroed in on a particular gene that is responsible for a disease or other characteristic. Their research has now been facilitated by the information readily available. They can, for example, study a three-dimensional structure of the gene, its relationship through evolution with similar human genes, detrimental mutations, its interaction with other genes, behavior of body tissue when the gene is activated and other diseases linked to the particular gene.
Using this new found knowledge scientists and doctors are able to examine a fetus to determine whether it carries any potential disease-creating genes. This helps them in taking corrective measures, if possible, or making ready facilities in treating a baby born with special needs.
New protocols have been established in the treatment of cardiac and auto-immune diseases.
There is a never ending list to the uses of data generated during the HGP and new applications are cropping up everyday.
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