DNA History

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

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There are defining moments in everybody's life, but right now the light shines on genetic information of each cell, DNA. Scientists have been trying to trace each letter of the genome's biochemical code for the last decade. In the Washington Post article, For DNA, a Defining Moment by Rick Weiss, tells us that a company in Rockville, MD and a team of scientists say that they have completed the task of decoding DNA. They will be announcing to the world that they have recognized and positioned in order just about all of the 3 billion pieces of genetic code that makes up DNA. Even though the two teams say that they have decoded DNA, the job is far from over. They expect that it will be another two years before every letter of the code is put accurately into its proper place, with almost 100 percent accuracy.

(Wiess, 2000) The reason that this announcement is so important is because of what it is going to offer. Scientists are hoping that knowing the make-up of DNA will offer them help in telling people that they might be in risk of certain diseases, new medicines that can treat diseases without side effects, or even prevent the disease all together. These are just a few of the advantages of knowing this information, but it will be one to two decades before we will see advantages in play. This information will tell us a lot more about ourselves and also raise many ethical questions. As we get closer to completely decoding DNA, the government has allocated 5 percent of the projects budget to studying the ethical, legal, and social allegation of decoding DNA. Decoding this information does not come at a cheap price tag; it has a...