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A Massive Project for the Benefit of Mankind A Look at the Human Genome Project Scientists are taking medical technology to new heights as they race tomap all of the genes nearly 100000 in the 23 chromosomes of the human body Along theway they hope to understand the basis of and maybe even develop methods of treatingcertain genetic diseases such as Alzheimers and Muscular Dystrophy They plan to dothis by identifying the DNA sequence of an abnormal gene in which a disease originates andcomparing it with the data of a normal or healthy gene The entire research project isentitled The Human Genome Project The Human Genome Project is a large scale project beingconducted by more than 200 laboratories with even more researchers and labs having joinedin Most of the labs and researchers are located in France and the United States Theproject started in 1990 and was slated to take 15 years and cost 3 billion in US moneyfor the entire project coming to roughly 200 million per year Federal funding for theproject is nearly 60 of the annual need This has created some funding problems for theproject There also have been technological advances and discoveries that have helped tospeed up the project This automation may help to reduce the cost and help the project tomeet its objectives ahead of schedule The project was estimated to have detailed maps ofall of the chromosomes and know the location of most of the human Genes by 1996Researchers have successfully located the gene and DNA sequence for HuntingtonsDisease on Chromosome 4 and have created a genetic test to determine if a person carriesthis gene The child of a person with Huntingtons has a 50 chance of inheritingthe gene which inevitably leads to the disease Once an individual acquires thegene it is only a matter of time before they acquire the disease Because the medicalcosts of treating such persons in terminal illnesses are extremely high insurancecompanies who want to stay
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