Friday, March 01, 2013

The Human Genome Project and Innovation

During the 1950s, scientists James Watson and Francis Crick discovered that the structure of DNA was the double helix.  Their discovery led, in the 1990s, to the creation of the Human Genome Project.  The mission of this massive international collaboration of laboratories was to map the human genome, the sequence of 3 billion chemical base-pairs.  In 2003 an outline of the human genome was completed.  Yet, there is till plenty of on-going research.

The work of the Human Genome Project has redefined the direction of pharmaceutical drug development.  Food is now engineered.  And, the entertainment world has produced movies exploring the social consequences of genetic tampering in Jurassic Park, Gattaca, and The 6th Day.

The Al Harris Library currently has a display of books about the Human Genome Project near the circulation desk.  These represent only a sample of available information about the Human Genome Project, DNA, and issues resulting from both.  All of the books are available for check out.  Articles about the project can be found in databases such as Today's Science and Issues and Controversies.

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