The Map Of Mankind

Category : Editorial

The completion of the human genome a map of man's genetic constitution marks a scientific milestone which will transform biology from being a descriptive science to a predictive one. The recent rapid strides in genetic engineering and and biosciences hove always suggested that the day was not for off when biologists would start enumerating the genetic alphabets, And now that day Is finally here with scientists putting together o sort of periodic table of life from which one con look up the complete list and structure of all genes. No longer is it necessary for a biology student or a post-doctoral fellow to toil for months, frying to isolate genes; one can now easily look up with information on the internet.

Currently the complete genome sequence of over 60 species are available. Each cell contains the genetic code in the bundles coiled chromosomes. The letters of the code As, Cs, Gs and Ts – representing the nucleotide adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine- spell out genes, the instructions required to make the proteins in on organism.

It is not surprising that the latest findings indicate a far fewer number of genes in the human genome than was previously thought, This has apparently even spawned stories about how much closer man actually is to the fruitfly and earthworm with their modes! genetic complements.

Now that the full complement of the human genes is known, scientists should soon be able to identify all metabolic pathways in the human body. Armed with the genome mop, however, researchers can drastically cut the time needed to connect a gene with a disease and develop drugs for every malfunctioning protein. Indeed, completing the human genome marks only the beginning in terms of understanding disease and the effort to develop drugs to prevent and treat illness, or to use gene transplants. Thus developing drugs to target specific gene products such as receptors on the surface of cells, for example, may take a lot more research. This month's finding, however, is the most momentous achievement since Watson and Crick first identified the structure of DNA in 1955.  


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