skip navigation

Passive – In Context

Genome Announcement a Milestone -- But Only a Beginning

microscopic gene view
 

 

Leaders say discovery must be linked to responsible use  

These are excerpts from the original article.

"Mapping the human genome has been compared with putting a man on the moon. However, I believe it is more than that," said Dr. Michael Dexter, the director of the Wellcome Trust, which funded the British part of the Human Genome Project.

The medical benefits of genome science, scientists agree, must be used to benefit all people, not only a privileged few. Individual privacy must be protected as science moves forward with the project, and the information must not be used to discriminate against any group or person.

"This is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind," Clinton said in Washington. "Humankind is on the verge of gaining immense new power to heal. Genome science    will revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases."

All the researchers involved praised the high level of international cooperation that enabled them to reach this stage, and they pledged to keep that momentum going.

Mapping the chemical sequences for human DNA -- the chemical "letters" that make up the recipe of human life -- is a breakthrough that is expected to revolutionize the practice of medicine by paving the way for new drugs and medical therapies.

Ninety-nine percent of the human genome has been sequenced and 3.21 billion letters of genetic code have been assembled by Celera. In the final step, each gene and its function must be identified. Scientists will look for the genetic variations in people — variations that could be the cause of countless diseases.

That step is expected to take several years to complete. However, scientists said doctors one day would be able to study a person's genetic profile, determine his susceptibility to various diseases, and design a course of treatment to prevent illness.

Despite the potential for medical advancements, many Americans are divided over the implications of the genome project.

analysis (n.) – take apart and examine elements

benefit (n.) – something that is advantageous or good; an advantage

gene therapy – is the use of DNA as a pharmaceutical agent to treat disease

benefits – aspects (things) that are favorable, good, advantageous

diagnosis (n.) – the process of determining by examination the nature and circumstances of a diseased condition; finding the cause of illness or difficulty

genome (n.) –  full set of chromosomes; all the genes in one cell of a living thing

immense (adj.) – vast; huge; very great

implication (n.) – a possible future effect or result of an action,

map (v.) – chart, diagram, draw a model of

the human genome – the complete set of human genetic information, stored as DNA sequences within the 23 chromosome pairs of the cell nucleus

milestone (expression) – a major mark of progress

molecular biology – the branch of biology that deals with the molecular basis of biological activity

momentum (n.) – force or speed of movement

pave (v.) – prepare for, facilitate, make a roadway for something

potential (n.) – future possibility; what something could be in the future

prevention (n.) – the act of stopping or blocking something from happening

private sector – nongovernmental funded research

privileges (n.) – a benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most

sequence (n.) – the following of one thing after another; succession

susceptibility (n.) – likely to suffer from a particular illness or be affected by a particular problem

treatment (n.) – managing the application of medicine or surgery

verge (n.) – the edge, the margin (the beginning of something)

wondrous (adj.) – wonderful, remarkable

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Title

 

 

 

Identify the use.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 1-10" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

1.
"Mapping the human genome has been compared with putting a man on the moon.


2.



3.

4.
The medical benefits of genome science, scientists agree, must be used to benefit all people, not only a privileged few. Individual privacy must be protected as science moves forward with the project, and the information must not be used to discriminate against any group or person.


5.
"This is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind," Clinton said in Washington. "Humankind is on the verge of gaining immense new power to heal. Genome science will revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases."



Study link 1
6.
by Genome Science.


Study link 2
7.
All the researchers involved praised the high level of international cooperation that enabled them to reach this stage, and they pledged to keep that momentum going.


8.
Mapping the chemical sequences for human DNA -- the chemical "letters" that make up the recipe of human life -- is a breakthrough that is expected to revolutionize the practice of medicine by paving the way for new drugs and medical therapies.


9.
That step is expected to take several years to complete. However, scientists said doctors one day would be able to study a person's genetic profile, determine his susceptibility to various diseases, and design a course of treatment to prevent illness.


10.
Despite the potential for medical advancements, many Americans are divided over the implications of the genome project.