Blocks of human genes are built together in our bodies to form the DNA. There are 3 billion such genes. The encoding of these genes in our body helps us to know the functioning of these genes and their roles which is important for biological research and improve prevention, diagnostics, and therapy of diseases. The Human Genome Project is an international collaborative project that was launched in the USA in 1990. 

It was started by James Watson, the co-discoverer of the DNA structure. The main goal of this project was to determine the sequence of the human genome, study and discover all the 3 billion genes and map them. At the beginning, it started with funding of US $ 3 Billion. This project had an immense amount of work and needed the best of scientific minds to come together to achieve this goal, so the Human Genome Project had to include many countries. To coordinate the duties, the Human Genome Organization (HUGO), an official international organization of genome scientists, was created.

The economic impact of this worldwide project and research is difficult to quantify but a report by Battelle Technology Partnership Practice calculates some of the following aspects of the impact:

  • Federal investment in genomic research produced an economic impact of $796 billion between 1988 and 2010, which is remarkable given that expenditure for the Human Genome Project (HGP) amounted to $3.8 billion between 1990-2003.
  • According to the Battelle report, genomics explicitly funded over 51,000 jobs in 2010 alone, and indirectly funded over 310,000 jobs. This generated personal income of $20 billion and added $67 billion to the U.S. economy.
  • The government has also been paid back for its spending on HGP. The genomics-enabled industry created more than $3.7 billion in federal taxes and $2.3 billion in state and local taxes in 2010.
  • The effect on medicine, agriculture, electricity, and the environment is only in its early stages, with the possibility of major things to come.