The Ethical Implications of the Human Genome Project.
Science has had an impact on all aspects of our lives including man himself. The rate of change brought about by scientific developments is fast and all encompassing. The development and enhancements of machines used by man occurs much faster than changes science has made to man himself. However, science, in the past, has always remained distant. Science has made incredible advances in production, transportation, and even entertainment; but the effect science has on the human today through genetic engineering is far more outstanding and can have a more important impact on life. The goal of The Human Genome Project is to identify and understand the genetic makeup of man. With this knowledge comes a barrage of ethical, legal, social, and moral implications that must be considered.
The first step to understanding genetic engineering is to know the start of its creation. Genetics achieved its first foothold on the secrets of nature's evolutionary process, when an Austrian Monk named Gregor Mendel developed the basics of how genetics work. Using this, scientist studied the characteristics of organisms for the next one hundred years following Mendel's discoveries. These early studies concluded that each organism has two sets of character determinants, genes. Inside every person is Deoxyribonucleic acid or more commonly known as DNA. DNA exists as two long, fine strands of DNA spiraling into the famous figure of the double helix. The discovery of DNA is attributed to three scientist, Francis Crik, Maurice Wilkins, and James Dewey. All were given the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine in 1962. .
DNA resides in the nucleus of all of our cells, except the red blood cells. In each nucleus, there are forty-six molecules of coiled, double stranded DNA. Each one of these molecules is housed in a structure called a chromosome. Inside each chromosome are genes.