Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Genetics in Medicine - Part 1 » Biotechnology and History of Genetic Engineering - Genetic Engineering Versus Biotechnology, Further Advances And Ethical Concerns, Key Technical Developments, Patents And The Rise Of Biotechnology Companies

Biotechnology and History of Genetic Engineering - The Human Genome Project

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In 1990 molecular biologists around the world began working on what ranks as perhaps the greatest achievement of biotechnology, the Human Genome Project, in which the more than 3 billion nucleotides of DNA in the human nucleus were ultimately sequenced. Although DNA sequencing began in 1977, it was the development in the 1990s of automated DNA sequencers and powerful computers to store and analyze the data that made this project feasible. The first draft of the human genome was completed in 2001. With the complete sequence available, scientists will be able to "mine the genome" to find important gene products and to design specific drugs to target gene product. The twenty-first century will see tremendous new advances using biotechnology.

Ralph R. Meyer


Alcamo, I. Edward. DNA Technology: The Awesome Skill, 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press, 2001.

Bud, Robert, and Mark F. Cantley. The Uses of Life: A History of Biotechnology. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Weaver, Robert F. Molecular Biology, 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002.

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