Interesting Aspects of Human Genetics

There are many interesting aspects of human genetics. Genetics is a fascinating field of study, and humans are no exception. With the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, we have now identified all of the 20,000 to 25,000 genes in human DNA. Analysis of the data and sequencing of the various human chromosomes is still happening and will continue for many years.

Some of the key milestones in human genetics since the completion of the Human Genome Project have been the complete sequencing of several human chromosomes to date.

As of the time of this writing, The following human chromosomes have been fully sequenced:

• Chromosomes 1 through 19
• Chromosome X
• Chromosome Y

So obviously chromosomes 20 through 46 still need to be sequenced as the human genome is made up of 23 pairs, but it’s truly amazing how far the study of the human genetics has come.

Some aspects of human genetics that you may find interesting:

• DNA is the abbreviation for Deoxy-ribo-Nucleic Acid.
• The “double helix” structure of DNA was discovered in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson.
• Genes make up DNA, and are the basic units of heredity.
• The human genome is made up of around 3 billion DNA molecules.
• Taking 3 billion divided by the 46 chromosomes, each one is made up of approximately 65 million DNA molecules.
• We do not yet know the function of all DNA, as between genes there are long sections of DNA that we don’t understand yet.
• This “junk” DNA, makes up 98% of the sequences. Only 2% of the total DNA seems to code for anything meaningful.
• Each chromosome contains about 1000 genes.
• There are around 30,000 different genes spread over the 46 human chromosomes.
• Each parent passes a complete set of genes to a child.
• One cell can completely copy it’s DNA in 8 hours.
• You are 99.9% identical to every other human being alive today.
• Humans are 98% genetically identical to chimpanzees, 90% to mice, 21% to worms, and 7% to simple bacteria.
• If the genome was in book form, it would be the size of 800 dictionaries and take up 3 gigabytes of storage on your PC.

Human genetics are truly incredible. I hope this small taste of interesting aspects of human genetics has inspired you to learn more!