The Human Genome Project

Let’s turn now to the issue of how geneticists study the origins of disease, beginning with something called the Human Genome Project. This is an effort to identify and describe the function of every one of the genes in the human genome, particularly those related to disease. Early on, there were some naïve expectations that just by sequencing a genome, the genes would be obvious and within a few years we would have cures for all the major maladies that afflict citizens of the developed world.

It hasn’t turned out that way, for good reasons, but the technical accomplishments have exceeded expectations, and it is doubtful that anyone foresaw the direction that genome science would take. The first announcement of a draft ...

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