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genome Evolution

Two major mechanisms drive evolution. The first is natural selection, a process causing heritable traits that are helpful for survival and reproduction to become more common in a population, and harmful traits to become more rare. This occurs because individuals with advantageous traits are more likely to reproduce, so that more individuals in the next generation inherit these traits.[1][2] Over many generations, adaptations occur through a combination of successive, small, random changes in traits, and natural selection of those variants best-suited for their environment.[3] The second major mechanism is genetic drift, an independent process that produces random changes in the frequency of traits in a population. Genetic drift results from the role probability plays in whether a given trait will be passed on as individuals survive and reproduce. Though the changes produced in any one generation by drift and selection are small, differences accumulate with each subsequent generation and can, over time, cause substantial changes in the organisms. This process can culminate in the emergence of new species.[4] Indeed, the similarities between organisms suggest that all known species are descended from a common ancestor (or ancestral gene pool) through this process of gradual divergence.[1]  Evolution in organisms occurs through changes in heritable traits) particular characteristics of an organism. In humans, for example, eye color is an inherited characteristic, which individuals can inherit from one of their parents.[14] Inherited traits are controlled by genes and the complete set of genes within an organism's genome is called its genotype.[15]  The complete set of observable traits that make up the structure and behavior of an organism is called its phenotype. These traits come from the interaction of its genotype with the environment.[16] As a result, not every aspect of an organism's phenotype is inherited. Suntanned skin results from the interaction between a person's genotype and sunlight; thus, suntans are not passed on to people's children. However, people have different responses to sunlight, arising from differences in their genotype; a striking example is individuals with the inherited trait of albinism, who do not tan and are highly sensitive to sunburn.[17]  Heritable traits are propagated between generations via DNA, a molecule which is capable of encoding genetic information.[15] DNA is a polymer composed of four types of bases. The sequence of bases along a particular DNA molecule specify the genetic information, in a manner akin to a sequence of letters specifying a text or a sequence of bits specifying a computer program. Portions of a DNA molecule that specify a single functional unit are called genes; different genes have different sequences of bases. Within cells), the long strands of DNA associate with proteins to form condensed structures called chromosomes. A specific location within a chromosome is known as a locus). If the DNA sequence at a locus varies between individuals, the different forms of this sequence are called alleles. DNA sequences can change through mutations, producing new alleles. If a mutation occurs within a gene, the new allele may affect the trait that the gene controls, altering the phenotype of the organism. However, while this simple correspondence between an allele and a trait works in some cases, most traits are more complex and are controlled by multiple interacting genes.  An individual organism's phenotype results from both its genotype and the influence from the environment it has lived in. A substantial part of the variation in phenotypes in a population is caused by the differences between their genotypes.[19] The modern evolutionary synthesis defines evolution as the change over time in this genetic variation. The frequency of one particular allele will fluctuate, becoming more or less prevalent relative to other forms of that gene. Evolutionary forces act by driving these changes in allele frequency in one direction or another. Variation disappears when an allele reaches the point of fixation) when it either disappears from the population or replaces the ancestral allele entirely.[20]  Variation comes from mutations in genetic material, migration between populations (gene flow), and the reshuffling of genes through sexual reproduction. Variation also comes from exchanges of genes between different species; for example, through horizontal gene transfer in bacteria, and hybridization) in plants.[21] Despite the constant introduction of variation through these processes, most of the ... more

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Human genome project 2

It all started back in 1953 with two men by the names of
James D. Watson and Francis Crick when they discovered the
double-helical structure of DNA.  Little did they know they were
opening the door to the creation of a perfect world.  In 1986,
the Human Genome Project, led up by the National Institution of
Health(NIH), took a giant leap through this door.  They began the
long process of mapping out the entire genetic makeup of the
human body.  The main purpose of the HGP was originally for the
use of preventing inherent diseases.  However, as studies
continue to progress, increased opportunities arise for
genetically altering the unborn.  You are now able to choose the
sex of you child before they are born with great accuracy.  What
is on the horizon now, is the possibility of designing your child
to be “perfect”.  Over the years, there has been heated, ethical
controversy on each of these issues, especially designer babies.
How far will we let biotechnological discovery take us?  What
will come of the world if designer babies become standard
procedure?
The earliest and maybe simplest use of genetic manipulation
was in the selection of the sex of an unborn child.  In Vitro
Fertilization(IVF - A procedure in which a woman’s eggs are
removed from her body, fertilized outside using sperm from her
husband or another donor, and then transferred back to her body.)
was originally limited to couples that were infertile.  Even the
use of IVF for the infertile was unheard of at one point.  “But
growing demand makes it socially acceptable, and now anybody
who’s infertile demands IVF,” says Lee Silver, a Princeton
University biologist.  Several years ago, fertility clinics
announced the new possibility of sex selection.  It was obviously
an exciting breakthrough, but when these clinics were inquired
about their results, they only had about a 50 percent success
rate.  “Its affluent clients could have achieved exactly the same
outcome by leaving a note for the tooth fairy, requesting a girl
or a boy”(Riddell).  In the same way, there were many who were
opposed to the idea at first especially with the results they
were getting, but over time the procedures have been almost
perfected and it has become socially acceptable.(Lemonick)
Many issues have arisen from the possibilities sex selection
will provide.  In cultures where males are valued more than
girls, such as China and India, assured sex selection could
really throw off an already out of balance society.  In the
United States it may not be as likely for there to be a favored
sex, generally speaking.  In our case, it is more of a weighted
opinion on what order you should have your kids, what sex should
come first.  Statistics show that the ideal family has a male as
the firstborn.  Males tend to be more assertive and more dominant
than females, as do firstborns.  If you put all this together, it
seems as though we are headed towards an even more male-dominated
world.  This is obviously a huge issue not only for the feminist
and gender-role stereotypes, but also for the more general idea
of a balance of nature.  Will females eventually fade out of
existence?  That is obviously farfetched, but definitely not
impossible.(Lemonick)
At this point, the majority still agrees that the provisions
of genetic engineering should be limited to the correction of
inherent diseases.  There are two primary ways that genetics can
be used to treat diseases.  The first is gene therapy, in which
one or more genes are injected into the patient to replace those
that are absent or not working properly.  This approach has been
used to treat a broad range of disorders such as heart disease,
many forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, AIDS, and
many more.  The second way to employ genes to treat diseases is
known as small-molecule therapy.  In this approach, the patient
is given a small molecule (drug) to modify the function of one or
more genes in the body.  When the pioneers of gene therapy first
requested government approval for their experiments in 1987, they
vowed they would never alter the patients’ germline (eggs or
sperm).(Begley)
Dr. W. French Anderson, who had ... more

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  • E: Evolution E: Evolution Evolution Two major mechanisms drive evolution. The first is natural selection, a process causing heritable traits that are helpful for survival and reproduction to become more common in a population, and harmful traits to become more rare. This occurs because individuals with advantageous traits are more likely to reproduce, so that more individuals in the next generation inherit these traits.[1][2] Over many generations, adaptations occur through a combination of successive, small, random chan...
  • N: Human genome project 2 N: Human genome project 2 Human genome project 2 It all started back in 1953 with two men by the names of James D. Watson and Francis Crick when they discovered the double-helical structure of DNA. Little did they know they were opening the door to the creation of a perfect world. In 1986, the Human Genome Project, led up by the National Institution of Health(NIH), took a giant leap through this door. They began the long process of mapping out the entire genetic makeup of the human body. The main purpose of the HGP was o...
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