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									The Human Genome Project



     By: Colleen Crowley
The Main Issues

   What is the Human Genome Project

   The Controversy

   The Benefits

   Recommendations
What is the Human Genome Project?

   Started in 1990
    – research began in 1972
   4 billion dollar program
   International effort
          –   Department of Energy
          –   National Institute of Health
          –   Universities
          –   Laboratories

   Predicted to finish in 2003
The Goals of the Project


   Identify all the 100,000 genes in human DNA
   Determine the sequence of the 3 billion chemical
    base pairs that make up human DNA
   Store information in databases
   Develop tools for data analysis
   Transfer related technology to the private sector
   Address ethical, legal, and social issues
Why?


   Better understand diseases

   Learn how the body works

   Preventive strategies for medicine
Progress

   Half the genome has been mapped
       • 3.1 billion bases of DNA total
       • 100,000 human genes


   Finish in 2003
       • due to technological advances
Definitions

   Human Genome:
    – the sum of human
      genetic material
   DNA
    – carries the genetic
      info in cells
   Chromosomes
    – a strand of DNA that
      carries genes
The Controversy


        Concerns
            • bio-ethical
            • political
            • moral
        Insurance companies
        Medical professionals
Source: DOE Human Genome Program, http://www.ornl.gov
Fairness and Privacy

   Who should have access to one’s
    genetic information?
   How should it be used?
   Who owns and controls it?

   Consider these would be owners:
    – insurers, employers, courts, schools, military,
      adoption agencies
           Insurance Company

   If a higher risk of genetic disease…
    – Disclose
       • deny coverage
       • pay higher premiums
       • affect family members
    – Do not disclose
       • increase costs for insurance company
    Example:

   Tests used for risk classification now:
    – Nicotine tests
    – PSA markers for prostate cancer
   Is it different for…
   Huntington Disease
    – Disclosure of info affects family also
    – Denial of coverage until age 50
RESULTS IN...

   Genetic Discrimination
    – discrimination against otherwise a healthy
      individual on the basis of a genetic
      abnormality
   Creating a Genetic Underclass
    – genetically inclined to certain diseases that
      could stereotype races, cultures, or
      families
Benefits

   500 genetic tests
    – study families in
      clinics
    – predisposition to
      diseases
    – difference between
      healthy and ill
   50 tests performed
    in clinics
More Benefits
   Finds the misspellings in sequences of
    DNA
    – Which identifies genes
       •   Breast cancer
       •   Parkinson Disease
       •   Kidney Disease
       •   Deafness
   Rational drug design
   Better organ replacement
Advancement

   Reduce costs for research
    – $2 to $0.10 for a bit of DNA research


   Technology advances
    – DNA Probe Test
       • finds DNA that causes disease
          – Chlamydia, Tuberculosis
Regulation

                Health Insurance
                 Portability and
                 Accountability Act

                 – 1996
                 – forbids denial of
                   coverage based on
                   genetic information
Recommendations

   Prohibit Insurance Companies
    – using genetic info for risk classification
    – denial of coverage
   Educate
    – prevent genetic discrimination
    – a blueprint of how we work
    – about individual and family background
   Laws and Regulations
               OVERVIEW

   Controversy
               » who should have access
               » ethical, legal, social concerns

   Benefits
               » preventive medicine
               » tests for diseases

   Recommendations
               » Laws and regulations
               » education
        REMEMBER

   DO YOU
    WANT
    SOMEONE TO
    KNOW YOUR
    GENETIC
    BLUE PRINT
    OF HOW YOU
    WORK?

								
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