Human genome project (HGP) was a mega project which finished in 2003 successfully sequencing the entire human genome of 3.3 billion base pairs. The HGP led to the growth of bioinformatics which is a vast field of research. The successful sequencing of the human genome could solve the mystery of many disorder in humans and gave us a way to cope up with them.
Goals of the human genome project included:
- Identification of the complete human genome
- Sequencing the entire genome
- Creating genome sequence databases to store the data
- Optimization of data analysis
- Taking care of the legal, ethical and social issues that the project may pose
Two distinct methods that typically used are:
1. Expressed sequence tags wherein the genes were differentiated into the ones forming a part of the genome and the others which expressed RNAs.
2. Sequence Annotation wherein the entire genome was first sequenced and the functional tags were assigned later.
- The complete gene set was isolated from a cell.
- It was then cut into fragments.
- This DNA structure was then amplified with the help of a vector which mostly was BAC (Bacteria artificial chromosomes) and YAC (Yeast artificial chromosomes).
- The smaller fragments were then sequenced using DNA sequencers.
- On the basis of overlapping regions, the sequences were then arranged.
- All the information of this genome sequence was then stored in a computer-based program.
This way the entire genome was sequenced and stored as genome database in computers. Genome mapping was the next goal which was achieved with the help of microsatellites (repetitive DNA sequences).
Features of Human genome project include:
- Our entire genome is made up of 3164.7 nucleotides.
- On an average, a gene is made up of 3000 nucleotides.
- The function of more than 50 percent of the genes is yet to be discovered.
- Protein is coded by less than 2 percent of the genome.
- Most of the genome is made up of repetitive sequences which have no coding purposes specifically but such redundant codes can help us better understand of genetic development of humanity through the ages.
Applications of HGP
As the goals of the human genome project were achieved, it led to great advancement in research. Today, if any disease arises due to some alteration in a certain gene, then it could be traced and compared to the genome database that we already have. In this way, a more rational step could be taken to deal with the problem and can be fixed with more ease.
This project has opened up new horizons which can be learned in much detail with our expert faculty.
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