Genetic Engineering

Human Genome Project

The Human Genome Project (HGP) is the most exciting breakthrough in human genetics in modern times! Geneticists from around the world collaborated to determine the nucleotide sequence for the complete human genome. This genetic map gives the location of each of the approximately 100,000 human genes composed of roughly 3 billion nucleotides.

The immense value of this knowledge will provide new understanding of how all genes work, how they are regulated, and how and why they create biological molecules. The human genome can then be compared to other known animal genomes to examine similarities and differences that may be useful in the creation of new genetic recombinations. Some of the knowledge gained may allow gene replacement and other gene-therapy strategies. For instance, it is known that sharks never contract cancer. If there is a cancer-inhibiting gene in sharks that could be incorporated into humans with no side effects, another serious health concern could be avoided. The possibilities open genetic engineering as a profitable, socially beneficial enterprise in the near future. It is estimated that there are more than 3,000 human genetic disorders!

book cover

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Biology © 2004 by Glen E. Moulton, Ed.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or call 1-800-253-6476. You can also purchase this book at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!