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Unit 14  


The Human Genome Project.

In 1988 the Human Genome Project (HGP) was initiated by founding the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) in the USA. The aim of this international organisation is to decipher the whole human genome. The results of this project are supposed to further the understanding of genetic diseases and shall render possible new ways of their diagnosis and therapy. Opponents of this project, however, fear that it will have negative consequences for future human biological and social life.

Because of the importance of the results of this project for future generations we want to inform today's students about different aspects of the HGP. Working with our material, developed for secondary school students, they will be confronted with the biological aspects and the non-biological aspects of the HGP, i.e., they will consider its descriptive as well as its normative characteristics.

By using this EIBE Unit the students should: acquire basic knowledge about the analysis of the human genome (history of the HGP, actual state of the project), get to know the methods of mapping and sequencing a genome (physical maps, genetic linkage maps, the polymerase chain reaction) realise problems and advantages that can result from the HGP (gene diagnosis possibilities, insurance problems) be guided to find a personal substantiated point of view regarding the HGP.

The material consists of background information for the teacher, worksheets, descriptions for experiments and texts concerning the different aspects mentioned above.



Development, EIBE team, copyright and acknowledgements
About the Unit

  • Introduction

The human Genome Project

  • Introduction
  • The Sanger sequencing method
  • Student notes

Techniques used in the Human Genome Project

  • Mapping and sequencing the human genome
  • Information for the teacher
  • Worksheet 1
  • Worksheet 2
  • Appendix

Social and Ethical Implications of the Human Genome Project

  • Life Insurance. An ethical dilemma?
  • Information for the teacher
  • Student text 1
  • Patenting DNA sequences. An ethical question
  • Information for the teacher
  • Student text 2