Friday, December 19, 2014

Education and The Human Genome Project

What is the Human Genome Project?

“The Human Genome Project (HGP) is an international scientific research project with a primary goal of determining the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up human DNA, and of identifying and mapping the total genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional standpoint” -   Robert Krulwich (2001-04-17). Cracking the Code of Life (Television Show). PBS.

Why the fascination? 
In the documentary film, 'Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life’, there is a scene where Richard Dawkins  (the narrator) gets his entire genome sequenced. His genome is sequenced and compared to the Human Reference Genome, which is a composite of the genomes of several donors which took about 10 years to build. The HRF is a sample genome structure. Then after Richard Dawkins’ genome is sequence the doctor calls him over to see where his genome differs from that of the human reference genome. 

How different is your Genome Structure?
The medical professional tells him there are over 4 million differences between the genome of Mr Dawkins and the human reference genome. Also there are over 50,000
variants in the genome of Mr Dawkins that have never been noticed before. Then Mr Dawkins describes how the information in his genomes structure reveals several intricate details of his own life that is very personal and that he has not shared with anyone up to then. The medicial professional describes how Mr Dawkins' genome structure makes him have runny ear wax, or smell asparagus in his urine. Dawkins is told that he has  a genome structure, that reveals that if he smoked he had the most risk of getting lung cancer. It is incredible what this activity can reveal about you as an individual. 

Imagine the potential. The lives saved!

Just think about the Human Genome project and the intricate details revealed when the biologist Richard Dawkins got his genome sequenced. Every human being is so diverse  with regards to his or her genome structure. Richard Dawkins had over 50,000  variants in his own genome from that of the reference genome.

Sometimes our individual behavior is determined by our gene structure, but we are not aware of it. This is individuality to a whole new extent.

Is Mass Education Possible, when each individual is so different? 

Thus when we make the claim that you can educate the masses with a general curriculum and get the masses to select courses and careers based on what the economy demands, you go against this individual genome structure of every human being. Individuals have unique genetic sequences and are naturally going to be inclined to different fields. You can force the mind, but not their genetic make up.

Read More @
Human Genome + Structure and Function
Watch the documentary here  - Richard Dawkins Documentary

Let us Learn Together
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