A Summary of “The Human Genome Project: A Personal View”

James D. Watson argues in “The Human Genome Project: A Personal View” that the project could succeed if funding issues were resolved. Cancer and many manic-depressive diseases among others can be resolved through the human genome project, but there are moral and ethical issues awaiting resolution.
Despite the urgency to further the research in the human genome research project, there are many problems with other scientists. Many scientific groups feel the human genome project is a waste of time, money and government funding. They feel the funding could be more effectively used in other areas of research. Because of these differences, Watson has come across great difficulties obtaining the funding needed for research.
By using the research conducted in the human genome project, scientists have gained a great understanding of how DNA research can provide help and cures for many diseases. Understanding DNA and how it operates, and changes can provide the cause of many diseases and their origin. If further research was conducted, Watson believes we could better understand many manic-depressive diseases, cancerous tumors, alcoholism and schizophrenia among others.
In order to achieve any of Watson’s goals, government funding is needed. Congress passes bills providing hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for scientific research. Watson believes a large portion of that is wasted on research projects that fail to provide any useful information. By funding further DNA research, he feels we could answer many unresolved issues and actually save millions of dollars on wasted research projects. Watson believes that congress likes the idea of the human genome project and that it could help in finding out many answers about various diseases, which in return would provide better health and living for all people.
For health and living to increase certain objectives must be met. Watson states, “The ultimate objective of the human genome project is to learn the nucleotide sequence of human DNA.” In order to obtain this objective, they would need to obtain at least ninety eight percent of the regional functions. Another one of the main objectives of the human genome project is to be able to make good genetic maps. Mapping DNA would make it readily available, and also to do mega base sequencing and decrease the amount of time it takes. Doing all of this would practically complete the human genome project. This was Watson’s life long goal.
Watson’s goal will not be met easily though; the human genome project is not justifiable to most countries, which creates various problems, like funding. Other countries do not want to help in funding, leaving the USA to provide all the funds needed, although they are interested commercially. This worries other countries that if the United States does fund the entire project, that they will not provide them with any information regarding the project’s results. The sharing of these funds throughout various countries will be indispensable.
Funding is not the only issue though, ethics comes up as an issue for the human genome project because of the moral issues this country has on discrimination. Watson agrees that any one-person’s DNA should be kept strictly confidential to that person. There are also issues that people could be discriminated if a disease related death could be predicted. Many laws will need to be passed restricting the ethical issues related to any DNA research before it could become public. There are many issues needing resolution before the human genome project can go much further, but Watson argues and thoroughly believes there are more good outcomes than bad that could come out of this project.