The Human Genome Project

  • Lewis Petrinovich
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


The goal of the HGP is to locate all genes of the human genome and establish the base sequences of all its DNA. Vicedo (1992) used the metaphor of an analysis of literary text to illuminate the problems in the HGP. The mapping could be considered to be the syntactic analysis of that text, aiming to identify the words used and the systematic rules and constructions that exist. A semantic analysis also is required involving an integration of biochemical data with embryology and developmental biology to interpret the genes’ role in the formation of an organism. A pragmatic analysis involves analysis of particular genomes in relation to the specific environments in which they are to be expressed. Wills (1991) used a musical metaphor that nicely expresses the limitations of simply knowing the sequence of DNA and assuming that we have learned what we need to know about human beings: Even though we have looked up the sequence of notes in a Beethoven sonata, we will not have gained the capacity to play it.


Cystic Fibrosis Genetic Screening Human Genome Project Ethic Program Abort Fetus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lewis Petrinovich
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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