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.