How well do you think you can ever know other people? The complete map of the human genome, every chemical twitch that makes up our collective DNA, means science now knows us all, intimately.
The human genome project, HGP, began in 1990, and the sequence of the very last chromosome to be mapped was published in the journal Nature in 2006.
When the journal Science published one of two competitive HGP drafts, they said "Humanity has been given a great gift". The HGP discovered that we have around 20,500 genes, and tagged their location across major sections of all our chromosomes with linkage maps.
The US government's national human genome project describes the HGP as comparable to "the Apollo program bringing humanity to the moon".
The map means we can now understand whether illnesses are genetic, as seen in the video below.
The innovative map changed not just medicine, but the notion of who and what we are.
Ronald Cole-Turner, professor of theology and ethics at the Pittsburg Theological Seminary, told MSNBC: "We have not just primate evolution, not just mammalian, but almost back to the very beginning of life on Earth leaving a kind of archaeological footprint in our DNA sequence. It suggests how deeply interwoven we are with the history of life on Earth."
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