Scientists are taking medical technology to new heights as they race to map all of the genes, nearly 100,000, in the 23 chromosomes of the human body .Along the way, they hope to understand the basis of, and maybe even create different methods of treating certain genetic diseases, like Alzheimer's and Muscular Dystrophy. They plan to do this by identifying the DNA sequence of an abnormal gene in which a disease comes from and comparing it with the data of a healthy or normal gene. The entire research project is called " The Human Genome Project." .
"The Human Genome Project" is a large scale project being done by over 200 laboratories, with even more researchers and labs have joined in. Most of the labs and researchers are located in the United States and France. The project was started in 1990 and was expected to take 15 years and cost $ 3 billion in U.S money for the entire project coming to roughly $200 million per year. Federal funding for the project is nearly 60% of the annual need. This has created some funding problems for the project. This automation may help to reduce the cost and help the project meet its objectives ahead of schedule. The project was estimated to have detailed maps of all the chromosomes and know the location of most of the human genes by 1996.
Researchers have successfully located the gene and DNA sequence for Huntington's Disease on Chromosome 4 and have made a genetic test to determine if a person carries this gene. The child of a person with Huntington's has a 50% chance of inheriting the gene, which pretty much leads to the disease. Once a person gets the gene, it is only a matter of time before they get the disease. Because of the medical costs of treating such persons in terminal illnesses are very high, insurance companies who want to stay in business see this genetic test, and others like it, as an opportunity to screen prospective clients for the possible chance of such diseases.