The Human Genome Project

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The Human Genome Project was an international research effort to determine the sequence of the human genome and identify the genes it contains. The project was coordinated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Energy. Additional contributors included universities across the United States and international partners in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan and China. The Human Genome Project formally began in 1990 and was completed in 2003, 2 years ahead of its original schedule.

The Human Genome Project was one of the great feats of exploration in history. Rather than an outward exploration of the planet or the cosmos, the Human Genome Project was an inward voyage of discovery, led by an international team of researchers looking to sequence and map all of the genes, together known as the genome of members of our species.

The main goals of the Human Genome Project were to provide a complete and accurate sequence of the 3 billion DNA base pairs that make up the human genome and to find all of the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 human genes.

The Human Genome Project gave the researchers the ability, for the first time, to read nature's complete genetic blueprint for building a human being. As researchers learn more about the functions of genes and proteins, this knowledge will have a major impact in the fields of medicine, biotechnology and the life sciences. It provided immense potential benefits in the field of molecular medicine. The benefits included better diagnosis of disease early detection of certain diseases, and gene therapy and control systems for drugs.