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Caduceus with DNA Helix

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All diseases have a genetic component, whether inherited or resulting from the body's response to environmental stresses like viruses or toxins. The successes of the Human Genome Project (HGP) have even enabled researchers to pinpoint errors in genes--the smallest units of heredity--that cause or contribute to disease. The ultimate goal is to use this information to develop new ways to treat, cure, or even prevent the thousands of diseases that afflict humankind.

Credit or Source: Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.


Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Genomics and Its Impact on Science and Society: A 2008 Primer, 2008. (Original version 1992, revised 2001 and 2008.) (website)

Prepared by the Biological and Environmental Research Information System, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and