The Effects of the Human Genome Project on Society Essay

1699 Words Jun 4th, 2006 7 Pages
What is the effect of the knowledge gained through the mapping of the human genome on society?

Human genetics has remained a mysterious and spotty subject throughout history. The farther the human race advances, the more it learns and the more details it is able to clarify. Now, man has come to create a method of mapping out the complex and massive information stored within himself in order to better understand and further the health and lives of those around him. In the following text is explained the Human Genome Project, what it is and what it has accomplished; an objective view of the advantages to this research as well as the possible disadvantages that have arisen throughout the process. What are the long term effects of the
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Gene therapy is the form of cures and preventions that the mapping of the genome will help make possible by changing the expression of a gene that may cause illness or disease. "[Gene Therapy] involves finding the bad gene and replacing it with a good one, a bit like stretching out a string of Christmas lights, looking for a bad bulb, and replacing it" (Cabot). With this new form of treatment, many known illness will be able to be cured, however, the diagnosis is often available before the cure. This raises some issues of the mental stability and affect that this knowledge could have on someone who is found to carry a disease that a cure has not yet been discovered for. But with the continuing research, cures are only so far behind the advanced diagnoses. When dealing with the foundations of human genetics, one cannot proceed without raising the issues of many debates, most often those of an ethical nature. ""I spend as much of my time on these issues as I do on basic science issues," said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project" (Witham). On the topic of manipulating genetics there are going to be many very excited as well as those very opposed and frightened of the doors that it could open. Many believe that human genetics are not something to be messed with, that nature should be allowed to run its course

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