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Information from the Human Genome Project has been and will continue to be applied to different medical, industrial, commercial, and scientific purposes. For example, scientists have already discovered specific genes responsible for several genetic disorders, including cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and colon cancer. Researchers may improve diagnoses, treatments, and therapies for the more than 4,000 human genetic disorders.

John Carpten of the National Institutes of Health, pictured in Figure 13-8, is a researcher taking such an approach to prostate cancer. Carpten knew that prostate cancer rates in men are second only to skin cancer rates and that some forms of the disease run in families. By studying male relatives with and without prostate cancer, he and his team were able to map a gene for susceptibility to prostate cancer. The gene, called RNASEL, occurs near a gene sequenced during the Human Genome Project. RNASEL encodes an RNA-digesting enzyme. Carpten isolated the RNASEL gene from patients, and found mutations. His discoveries may one day lead to new prostate cancer treatments.

figure 13-8

Dr. John Carpten is a researcher at the National Human Genome Research Institute. He uses the results of the Human Genome Project to study prostate cancer.

figure 13-8

Dr. John Carpten is a researcher at the National Human Genome Research Institute. He uses the results of the Human Genome Project to study prostate cancer.

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