The Human Genome Project (HGP) is a thirteen-year effort, which began in 1990 and is coordinated by the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. The project was originally going to take course over fifteen years, but thanks to all of the technological advances it is expected to be complete in 2003. There are many goals to the Human Genome project all of which have to do with the human DNA in some way shape or form. .
The goals for the Human Genome Project are to identify all of the genes in human DNA (approximately 30,000). It is also necessary to determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA and then to store this information in databases. A critical part of the Project is to improve tools for data analysis and to transfer related technologies to the private sector. In doing so the coordinators of the Human Genome project must address the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project.
The first working draft of the human genome was completed in June of 2000. Finally in February of 2001 there was the publication of the initial working draft sequence. The Human Genome Project runs about three billion dollars. However, this figure refers to the total projected funding over a 15-year period (1990-2005) for a wide range of scientific activities related to genomics. These include studies of human diseases, experimental organisms (such as bacteria, yeast, worms, flies, and mice); development of new technologies for biological and medical research; computational methods to analyze genomes; and ethical, legal, and social issues related to genetics. .
Human genome sequencing represents only a small fraction of the overall 15-year budget. It is critical to realize that although the Human Genome Project costs a tremendous amount of money the technological advances that come from this experiment will make it all well worth it.