The large, multidisciplinary Human Genome Project (HGP) the effort to find all human genes and characterize a reference genomepromises to revolutionize the future so profoundly that the 21st has been dubbed the "biology century." Almost everyone will be affected by applications of information and technologies derived from the HGP era of the late 20th century. Entirely new approaches will be implemented in biological research and the practice of medicine and agriculture. Genetic data will provide the foundation for research in many biological subdisciplines, leading to an unprecedented understanding of the inner workings of whole biological systems. The benefits of genomic research are, or soon will be, realized in such areas as forensics and identification science, ecology and environmental science, toxic-waste cleanup, creation of new bioenergy sources and more efficient industrial processes, and in understanding the mysteries of evolution, anthropology, and human migration. Among the fields that HGP research will impact are engineering, computer science, mathematics, counseling, sociology, ethics, religion, law, agriculture, education, pharmaceuticals, instrumentation, nuclear medicine, forensics, bioremediation, biofuels, and journalism. Cross-disciplinary students with solid backgrounds in science and in one or more other fields such as journalism, law, and computer science will be needed to tackle the issues and applications arising from the HGP.
Credit or Source: Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. science.energy.gov/ber/