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Paper Topic:

Chromosome number 13

UNKNOWN FRONTIERS : CHROMOSOME 13

2007

Science has built a reputation for breaking boundaries . Science never treads lightly along

the great unexplored frontiers , whether those frontiers be space , sea or any other object of

wonder and speculation . Yet perhaps humanity 's most enduring curiosity resides in itself

Whether one considers the human mind or the human body , no subject has remained as open

or as mysterious . Psychology has challenged the complexities of human thought and cognition

for over a century , but the physical workings - the basic building blocks

- of individuals stood

immersed in secrecy for centuries . Only in recent decades have the questions found a hint of an

answer . Only recently have three simple letters transformed the way we view science , each other

and humanity as a collective whole . The discovery of DNA created a chain reaction which

brought formerly alien terms such as genes and chromosomes into popular consciousness

Today , due to the Human Genome Project , we know that each gene - and each chromosome -

provides a vital link in our bodies ' proper functioning . Let us consider one chromosome -

Chromosome 13 - as a representative of humanity 's most basic building blocks

History

A brief consideration of Chromosome 13 's history must necessarily begin with the birth

of genetic science itself . Chromosomes were first discovered in the 1880s . Through this

revolutionary finding , scientists eventually gained better insight into the structural makeup of

DNA . Chromosomes exist in pairs , and each pair is connected by chemical bases (genes

Genes then produce a wide range of traits within individuals . Fifty years later , Barbara

McClintock and Harriet Creighton pioneered work in genetic recombination (Berg and Singer

31 . Chromosomal study (cytogenetics ) truly broke ground in 1953 , when Francis Crick and

James Watson discovered the double helix structure in DNA . Three years later , scientists finally

pinpointed the precise number of chromosomes in the human body - 46 . As scientists uncovered

the basics of chromosome research , the next steps involved identifying individual chromosomes

studying abnormalities , and developing methods that would assist in both of these aims ( A

History of the Human Genome Project ' 1195 . The 1960s and 1970s brought important

findings regarding chromosomal defects such as Down Syndrome , Edward 's Syndrome , and

Patau Syndrome (the first discovered Chromosome 13-associated ailment This era also

witnessed the development of early banding techniques and interest in karyotyping (creating

maps of individual chromosomes (Gelehrter and Collins 87-88 . In addition , Frederick Sanger

introduced the world to the first sequenced genome in 1977 ( Chromosome 13 ' Wellcome Trust

Sanger Institute . The 1980s ushered in more advanced techniques namely fluorescent in situ

hybridization (FISH (Billings and Brown 37 ) Also , Leroy Hood and Lloyd Smith developed

society 's first automated sequencing machine . By 1990 , scientists were more than ready for the

next revolutionary step - a mapping of the entire human genetic pro By all regards , the

Human Genome Project is a resounding success , decoding over three billion nucleotides and

identifying twenty-thousand plus genes in its short history ( A History of the Human Genome

Project ' 1195 . Chromosomes 13 and 19...

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