The human genome

On May 21, 1965, President John F. Kennedy made this proposal to Congress: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” On October, 1990, a similar proposal was made relative to exploring the inner world of human space: the mapping of the 46 genes that make you uniquely YOU! Thirteen years later this headline appeared in the New York Times:

BETHESDA, Md., April 14The human genome is complete,” leaders of a public consortium of academic centers said today. “We have before us the instruction set that carries each of us from the one-cell egg through adulthood to the grave.”

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the genome center at the National Institutes of Health, said the Human Genome Project had completed the task it set itself and was today dissolved. The human genome “is a history booka narrative of the journey of our species through time. It’s a shop manual, with an incredibly detailed blueprint for building every human cell. And it’s a transformative textbook of medicine, with insights that will give health care providers immense new powers to treat, prevent and cure disease.”

Here are some of the astonishing facts about YOU:

  • DNA1There are 100 trillion (100,000,000,000,000) cells in your body.
  • There are three billion (3,000,000,000) base pairs in the DNA code within each cell.
  • Your genome is made of 3,200 million base pairs, split into 46 chromosomes.
  • If the DNA in your body was put end to end, it would reach to the sun and back over 600 times.
  • It would take a person typing 60 words per minute, eight hours a day, around 50 years to type your genome.

Listen to David’s appraisal of the Maker’s workYou shaped me, inside and out. I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence. Your thoughts and plans are treasures to me, O God! How grand in scope! How many in number!  If I could count each one of them, they would be more than all the grains of sand on earth. Their number is inconceivable!