Whats All the Fuss About the Human Genome Project?
In February of 2001, virtually every media outlet, whether TV news, newspapers, radio, Internet news services, or news magazines, was all worked up about the announcement of the completion of the Human Genome Project. In this article we will explore this monumental achievement and what it means for the future of medicine and our understanding of ourselves. To appreciate this important accomplishment, we need to review a little basic genetics. It may actually astonish most adults just how much genetics the National Institutes of Health assumes we know about our genetic heritage. The educational video from the HGP includes a three-minute review of basic genetic processes like DNA packaging, transcription of DNA into message RNA, and the translation of message RNA into protein. Its no exaggeration to say that when I played this short piece during a lecture for high school students and their parents, mom and dad were left in the dust. Honestly, I did that intentionally; because we are only