Thursday, 14 October 2010

The human genome

The human genome - this has been a topic of interest and debate for some time .

What is the hype about the human genome? Well, in 1990 , several scientists came together and decided to sequence and decipher the human genome. A genome is the complete DNA (genetic material made of 4 nucleic acids mainly A, T, G & C) in an organism. The human genome is made of 23 chromosomal pairs - 22 autosomal pairs and a pair of sex chromosomes - a lady would have a pair of X chromosomes while a man would have an X & a Y chromosome.

The human genome project was highly debated and versions of the same are yet being debated in terms of its ethics, legalities & social issues.

Human beings are 99.99% similar to each other, and the 0.01% variation codes for all the differences between nationalities, personalities, colour, disease susceptability or resistance, etc. This 0.01% difference is in certain positions of the genome and is being widely studied to understand heritability of certain characters like height and disease risks.

(OK...I think I pause this post here, waiting to here your comments...)


  1. Thanks for the first post (I think) on a science matter. Appreciate it. As you are aware, I am not a science person. From your post, I learned the basics of human genome. Thanks.

    All I am aware is there are some ethical issues associated with human genome. Like, fairness in the use of genetic information by insurers, adoption agencies, military, and others. Also, issues associated with who owns and controls genetic information.

  2. It reminded me of my zoology class:)

  3. @SG : Thank you ...yes I also think that is my first science post.

    @chitra: Is that good or bad?