Advertisement

The Human Genome Project: Benefits and Risks to Society

  • Suvara WattanapitayakulEmail author
  • Jon C. Schommer
Article

Abstract

The human genome project was initiated in 1990 to study the structure and characteristics of human DNA that are important for understanding gene functions and their relation to diseases. The large-scale genome research has driven the technology advancement in genetic testing, drug design, gene therapy, and other genetic related areas such as pharmacogenetics. Although the project reveals potential benefits, it raises ethical, legal, and social issues. The outcomes of individuals’ genetic information disclosure may lead to confidentiality and genetic discrimination issues. In addition, clinical relevance of genetic testing and psychological effect from the results are debatable. This article discusses the potential benefits and risks from the human genome project.

Key Words

Human genome project Public policy 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Fink L, Collins FS. The human genome project: View from the National Institutes of Health. J Am Med Worn Assoc. 1997;52(1):4–7,15.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cantor CR. A brief sketch of the Human Genome Project and its implications for pharmaceutical technology. Pharmaceut Tech. 1993;17:22,24,26.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The Human Genome Project. Revised 5-year research goals of the U.S. Human Genome Project. Human Genome News. 1993;5(4):1–5.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Human Genome Project. Technology transfer—Commercializing genome resource. Human Genome News. 1995:7(3–4):15.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kadlec JV, McPherson RA. Ethical issues in screening and testing for genetic diseases. Clin Lab Med. 1995;15(4):989–999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ellsworth DL, Hallman DM, Boerwinkle E. Impact of the Human Genome Project of epidemiologic research. Epidemiologic Rev. 1997;19(1):3–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Scriver CR. Genetic screening, testing and treatment: How far can we go? J Inher Metab Dis. 1996;19:401–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Olopade OI. The Human Genome Project and breast cancer. Women’s Health Issues. 1997;7(4):209–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mansfield BK. The Genome Project and the Pharmaceutical Industry. Human Genome News. 1990;2(4):1.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kelloff GJ, Hawk ET, Karp JE, Crowell JA, et al. Progress in clinical chemoprevention. Sem Oncology. 1997;24(2):241–252.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kalow W. Pharmacogenetics: Its place in medicine and biology. J Pharmacy Practice. 1992;6:312–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hildebrand CE, Stallings RL, Torney DC, Fickett JW, et al. Human genome mapping and sequencing: Applications in Pharmaceutical Science. In: Pezzuto JM, Johnson ME, Manzsse HR, Ed. Biotechnology and Pharmacy. New York: Chapman & Hall; 1993.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tucker GT. Clinical implications of genetic polymorphism in drug metabolism. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1994;46(Suppl 1):417–424.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Meyer UA. The molecular basis of genetic polymorphisms of drug metabolism. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1994;46(Suppl 1):409–415.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sandhu JS, Keating A, Hozumi N. Human gene therapy. Crit Rev Biotech. 1997;17(4):307–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Smith TJ. Gene therapy: Opportunities for pharmacy in the 21st century. Am J Pharmaceut Educ. 1996;60:213–215.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Beauchamp TL, Childress JF. Principles of Biomedical Ethics. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 1994.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kopala B. The Human Genome Project: Issues and ethics. Am J Maternal Child Nursing. 1997;22:9–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Blanck PD, Marti MW. Genetic discrimination and the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act: Emerging legal, empirical, and policy implications. Behavioral Sci Law. 1996;14:411–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Patenaude AF. The genetic testing of children for cancer susceptibility: Ethical, legal, and social issues. Behavioral Sci Law. 1996;14:393–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Wilfond BS, Noland K. National policy development for the clinical application of genetic diagnostic technologies. JAMA. 1993;270(24):2948–2954.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Cassel CK. Policy implications of the Human Genome Project for women. Women’s Health Issues. 1997;7(4):225–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mahowald MB, Levinson D, Cassel C, Lemke A, et al. The new genetics and women. Milbank Quarterly. 1996;74(2):239–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nsiah-Jefferson L. Reproductive genetic services for low-income women and women of color: Access and sociocultural issue. In: Rothenberg KH, Thomsom EJ, eds. Women and Prenatal Testing: Facing the Challenges of Genetic Technology. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press; 1994.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ravine D, Cooper DN. Adult-onset genetic disease: mechanisms, analysis and prediction. Q J Med. 1997;90:83–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Salkovskis PM, Rimes KA. Predictive genetic testing: psychological factors. J Psychosomatic Res. 1997;43(5):477–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Scriver CR. We mean well: Treatment of Mendelian disease. Acta Paediatr Japonica. 1988;30:385–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Drug Information Association, Inc 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pharmacology, College of PharmacyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbus, OHUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, College of PharmacyUniversity of MinnesotaUSA

Personalised recommendations