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SCIENTIFIC PROJECTS

The Human Genome and ENCODE projects allow us to determine the influence of genetics on our physical appereance and evolution.

The Human Genome Project (HGP), with a budget of $280 millions, was originated within the US Department of Energy’s Office of Health and Environmental Research and involved many scientist from different countries. It was completed in 2003.

Human Genome Project

This major project was a techno-scientific challenge: due to the advanced technologies that would emerge from it and the knowledge obtained, it would ensure the technological and commercial superiority of the country.

The main objective was to determine the DNA sequence and identify the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes of the human genome. Knowing the sequence of bases could be very important in terms of biomedical studies and clinical genetics, developing awareness of rare diseases studied, new medicines and more reliable and rapid diagnosis. One of the most important applications about unveiling the sequence of DNA is that you can learn the molecular basis of several genetic diseases, enabling a proper diagnosis for them, such as: Gaucher disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, Marfan syndrome.

 

Thanks to the Human Genome Project, the diagnosis of certain diseases can be done in a presymptomatic and prenatal way. An increased knowledge of the molecular basis of certain diseases allows presymtomatic diagnosis and preventive actions such as changing lifestyle, avoiding exposure to risk factors, etc. According to recent developments in in-vitro fertilization techniques, it is now possible to perform pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).