Human Genome Project

Human genome project (HGP) was an international scientific research project which got successfully completed in the year 2003 by 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 disorders in humans and gave us a way to cope up with them.

Goals of the human genome project

Goals of the human genome project include:

  • Optimization of the data analysis.
  • Sequencing the entire genome.
  • Identification of the complete human genome.
  • Creating genome sequence databases to store the data.
  • Taking care of the legal, ethical and social issues that the project may pose.

Methods of the human genome project

In this project, two different and significant methods are typically used.

  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 process of the human genome project

  • The complete gene set was isolated from a cell.
  • It was then split into small fragments.
  • This DNA structure was then amplified with the help of a vector which mostly was BAC (Bacterial 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 the Human genome project include:

  • Our entire genome is made up of 3164.7 million base pairs.
  • On average, a gene is made up of 3000 nucleotides.
  • The function of more than 50 percent of the genes is yet to be discovered.
  • Proteins are 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.

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more in detail about the human genome project.

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