Biological sciences have always been incredibly amazing and research after research when new mysteries have been solved and secrets have been unfurled mankind still feels that it is still struggling to get to the core of this branch of science. Various projects have been carried out by the researchers and scientists to dig out solution to the most complicated and complex synthesis and reactions. Human Genome project too is one link in this chain of continuous effort.
This project is considered as the most challenging and ambitious projects ever embarked upon by science. The main aim of this project is to map and sequences the complete genetic materials that help us evolve into human. Once this whole project is completed the scientists will have profound information which can unveil the mysteries about human body growth and functioning.
Each of our body cells comprise of master program that keeps a check on its growth and functioning and the units which organize these information are called as genes. These genes are arranged along long polymers (chromosomes) one after other. Human body comprise of 46 chromosomes that are arranged in pairs and are secreted by the nucleus of each cell. These chromosomes in turn are composed of DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid and are a very simple molecule of the cell. DNA is made up of four residues or building blocks that are attached together in large long strings and are found to blend to form genes. Genes are strung together to compose chromosomes.
The Human Genome Project has found out that there are around 20,000-25,000 'haploid' protein coding genes present in our body. With the help of completed human sequence it is now possible to identify the locations of these genes. What’s surprising is that only 1.5% of genome has encoded for proteins whereas the rest of the genes comprise of non-coding RNA genes, noncoding DNA, introns and regulatory sequences. Also worth noticing is the fact that the quantity of human genes has been found to be less that that of some simple organisms like the fruit fly or the round worm.
The main reason behind carrying out human genome sequence is to help us identify the genetic components of some of the most common diseases which have been affecting human body like heart disease, hypertension, autoimmune diseases or the dementias. With the help of follow up mapping of human genome which is being carried out for more than a decade, some genetic mutations that are known to cause simple genetic diseases such as breast and bowel cancers or cystic fibrosis has been found out. The project has revealed that the rare diseases are usually caused due to only one mutation present in a gene. As of today, the diseases in families that are caused by the mutated genes have been identified and correlated. In many cases the identification of some has led to treatment and therapies while in some cases their soon will be a solution.