The human genome project--some implications of extensive

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The human genome project--some implications of extensive "reverse genetic" medicine.

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  • Biology
  • Medicine


Impressive progress has been made during the past several decades in understanding the pathogenesis of human genetic disease. The tools of molecular biology have allowed the isolation of many disease-related genes by forward and a few by reverse genetics, and the imminent completion of a complete human genetic linkage map will accelerate the genetic characterization of many more genetic diseases. The major impacts of the molecular characterization of human genetic diseases will be 1. To increase markedly the number of human diseases that we recognize to have major genetic components. We already understand that genetic diseases are not rare medical curiosities with negligible societal impact, but rather constitute a wide spectrum of both rare and extremely common diseases responsible for an immense amount of suffering in all human societies. The characterization of the human genome will lead to the identification of genetic factors in many more human diseases, even those that now seem too multifactorial or polygenic for ready understanding. 2. To allow the development of powerful new approaches to diagnosis, detection, screening and even therapy of these disorders aimed directly at the mutant genes rather than at the gene products. This should eventually allow much more accurate and specific management of human genetic disease and the genetic factors in many human maladies. The preparation of a fine-structure physical map of the entire human genome together with an overlapping contiguous set of clones spanning entire chromosomes or large portions of chromosomes is rapidly becoming feasible, and the information that will flow from this effort promises eventually to affect the management of many important genetic diseases.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


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