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Disease chromosomes identified

Scientists working on the 10-year international Human Genome Project (HGP) have identified chromosomes which are believed to carry the highest concentration of disease genes.Out of 23 pairs of human chromosomes, 3 are believed to be associated with genetic disease.Over the next 20 years the research at the Wellcome Trust's Sanger Centre, near Cambridge, eastern England will have a large impact on treating all kinds of major ailments// ranging from asthma to Alzheimer's disease as well as depression and other mood disorders.

HGP provides a vastly increased knowledge of how the human body works with better explanations for a range of conditions or biological responses. With the new knowledge, biologists believe it is possible to pre-programme every human trait from hair colour to sexuality. Each chromosome carries thousands of genes that act as instructions for the manufacture of proteins controlling everything that occurs in the body.

HGP indicates that when genes mutate or are damaged, they cause heart diseases. cancer, Alzheimer's and numerous other ailments which have strong genetic components.

The Cambridge scientists found that chromosome1 genes are associated with Alzheimer's and prostate ailments while chromosome 6 is linked to intelligence.

But it is the X chromosome that causes disease including a wide range of infectious ailment such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), Tuberculosis and muscular dystrophy.

Dr. Michael Dexter, director of the Wellcome Trust, predicts that the HGP sequence will become one of the most valuable maps in our history. It will guide researchers for centuries. It does not restrict its potential uses to one person or to one corporation and is essential for progress in improving mankind's health.


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