Human genome project: What it did and what next

General intro on why the topic is of current scientific and social interest

Cite some things briefly on why genomic information is an issue that relates to privacy in today’s society, and hence it is important for us to consider this topic.

Beginnings on Human Genome Project

Summarize the background of the science that led up to the start of the HGP; e.g. scientific meetings held during 1980s about it, what was the state of the DNA sequencing technology at the time, what were the initial scientific objections, what persons early on pushed for it.

Human Genome Project Starts

Once it got going, goals of the project, who conducted the human genome project, e.g., who led it, what govt agency;

The Contest: Govt HGP vs. Private HGP

What was the private company in competition, who was leading that activity and what were the different goals of the private effort vs the public effort? What were the different technical approaches in techniques used by the public and private groups;
See also

how did the contest become arranged to end in a political ‘tie’ with a big public announced by President Clinton. Google something like ‘Clinton announces human genome tie’
See the first three minutes here

What did it mean that Celera did not ‘win’ first by itself? What happened to the value of the Celera stock when the announcement was made?

HGP – What did it Find?
What information did the HGP find? E.g., size of human genome, number genes (compared to what had been anticipated; perhaps compare this to some other genomes for comparison , yeast, drosophila,). Also, the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) program was a part of the HGP, what did it generate?

Research Projects Stemming from HGP

– now that HGP, at least first step, what are the next big steps from it? E.g. ‘thousand genomes project’, HapMap project. What studies have been made possible that may lead to questions uncomfortable to some people? (e.g., evolutionary studies on early human migration and interbreeding between humans and Neanderthal; what is the mixing in the genetic background of different societal populations?)

Summary and Future Prospects?

What social/ethical issues are likely to arise in the future?

Eg see



Human genome project: What it did and what next
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