Volume No. 3 Issue No.: 4 Page No.: 1005-1012 April-June 2009




Urmi Chaudhuri*1 and Debaleena Basu2

1. National Law University, Jodhpur (INDIA)
2. Department of Genetics, Culcutta University, Kolkata (INDIA)


Received on : April 10, 2009




Genes are the functional biological units of any living cell. Human genetic engineering deals with the controlled modification of the human genome. The Human Genome Project (HGP) is a project to de-code (i.e. sequence) more than 3 billion nucleotides contained in a haploid reference human genome and to identify all the genes present in it. The reference human genome sequence was considered pragmatically ‘complete’ at 92% in 2005 in publications by an international public HGP and somewhat independently by a private company Celera Genomics3. Recently, several groups have announced efforts to extend this to diploid human genomes including the International HapMap Project, Applied Biosystems, Perlegen, Illumina, JCVI, Personal Genome Project, and Roche-454. The "genome" of any given individual (except for identical twins and cloned animals) is unique. Mapping "the human genome" involves sequencing multiple variations of each gene. The project did not study all of the DNA found in human cells; some heterochromatic areas (about 8% of the total) remain unsequenced.
The UNESCO International Bioethics Committee had their meeting with more than 50 members selected from 35 countries. The committee drafted general guidelines and an international declaration on the human genome and human genetics, was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 1998, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.


Keywords : Genetic Engineering, Human Genome, Bioethics, Law, Human Rights