The Genome Project - A World of Possibilities

On June 26, 2000, President Clinton announced the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome.  The initiative for this project was undertaken nearly 15 years ago, in 1986, by the Department of Energy (DOE).  Initial completion of the project was not expected this early.  However, with the aid of technological advances over the past decade, sequencing of the human genome, the genetic blueprint for human beings, has been completed two years earlier than expected.

The Human Genome Project was initiated by the Department of Energy and completed with the aid of the National Institutes of Health.   Although, this Department seems an unlikely source for the project, the DOE recognized both technological and genetic information that would be generated from a project of this scope.  In their 1987 report, the DOE advisory committee provided examples including the efficient production of biomass for fuel, improvements in the resistance of plants to environmental stress, and the practical use of genetically engineered microbes to neutralize toxic waste.  The major goal of the DOE, however, was to understand the effects of low-level exposures to radiation and other energy-related agents.

Completion of the initial sequencing of the human genome will give scientists more knowledge into the causes of certain genetic diseases and disorders.  But how far should we allow this genetic testing to go?  Although President Clinton emphasized in his speech that “genetic information must never be used to stigmatize or discriminate against an individual or group”, we believe that this knowledge may be used detrimentally against certain people when extrapolated to such multivariable things as behavior.

Continue by reading about the genetics behind aggression and criminal behavior

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