The Human Genome Project: what are we hoping to learn?
Biotechnology seminar series
Lander, Eric S.
National Library of Medicine (U.S.)
[Bethesda, MD] : National Library of Medicine, 1988
Black and white
Human Genome Project.
See catalog record: 8800530A
In this lecture, Eric Lander pursues the question of what we hope to learn from The Human Genome Project. First, Dr. Lander provides a brief history of the project. Then he discusses problems related to searching for the human as compared to animal or insect genomes, such as the lack of polymorphic genetic markers and the lack of the ability to arrange crosses at will. There are three billion DNA base pairs in the human genome. In order to develop a precise understanding of the human genome, a genetic map (inheritance patterns), a physical map, and a sequence map are needed. The sequence map is the most detailed. What the project hopes to learn is the location and function of all human genes. Equipment is needed to accomplish this, equipment Dr. Lander calls a functionator and a sequencinator, which have yet to be developed. He hopes to identify genetic markers (RFLPs) linked to a specific disease. He uses the example of Bloom syndrome to illustrate this idea. He explains the likelihood function. One can learn relationships from DNA sequencing. For example, a "zinc finger," which is a transcription factor, suggests a biochemical function. To conclude, Dr. Lander focuses on the challenges of the project.