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The Human Genome Project (HGP): dividends and challenges: a review.

FE Ejezie


Background: Many disorders in man have been described as genetic or hereditary in nature and have defied absolute medical treatment and cure. Genomic studies have given profound insights into the genetic organization of many organisms including man. The information gathered and the new technologies developed in the course of the HGP will provide intense understanding of the genetic basis of human disease.
Objective: The review aims at the collection/assembly of information on the Human Genome Project, highlighting the dividends, challenges and controversies.
Methods: The search method was by review of literature. Information was gathered from the internet (Google search engines) in the form of journal articles, abstracts, reports, science newsletters, science magazines, encyclopedia/wikipedia and other relevant write-ups. Additional information was also obtained from text books available in the Medical Libraries of University of Nigeria Enugu Campus and Nnamdi Azikiwe University Nnewi Campus.
Results: The HGP established the sequence and map of the 3 billion base pairs that make up the human DNA. It also identified all the 30,000 genes in the 23 pairs of human chromosomes. The genomic information thus generated is stored in databases. While there are a lot of dividends, the project raised a number of challenges and controversies.
Conclusion: Though the HGP has generated a lot of challenges and controversies, it is believed that with appropriate legislations in place, the totality of the human race stands to benefit from the dividends and promises of the HGP. The completion of the HGP and the issues associated with it will be an essential part of modern medicine and biology for years to come.

Key Words: Human genome, Dividends, Challenges, Controversies, ELSI.