Genetics and Evolution

What was the Human Genome Project (HGP), and what were its goals?

The HGP was begun in 1990 as a 13-year effort and completed in 2003. According to the official HGP web site (, the goals were as follows:

  • Identify all of the approximately 30,000–40,000 genes in human DNA
  • Determine the sequence of the 3 billion chemical pairs of human DNA
  • Store this information in public databases
  • Improve tools for data analysis
  • Transfer related technologies to the private sector
  • Address the ethical, legal, and social issues that may stem from the project


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