The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international community project between 1990 and 2003 to map out the entire human genome with its approximate 3 billion nucleotide pairs, comprising some 20,000 to 25,000 genes and to make it freely available for further biological studies around the world. The development of “random shotgun sequencing” and the use of computer algorithms hastened the process tremendously and it was completed well ahead of schedule. Currently, scientists are locating specific genes and determining their function.
The next step is underway with the Human Genome Project (HGP), which is mapping all the proteins encoded by the DNA expressed in human cells. Recent discoveries in the HGP and HPP, together with advances in scientific protocols, equipment and biotechnology are paving the way for treatment and possible eradication of genetic diseases including breast cancer, Huntington’s disease, colon cancer, sickle cell anemia, Alzheimer’s and several hundred other genetic disorders.