National DNA Day
Deoxyribonucleic acid. Also known as DNA. It is the building block of all life, including the human race. It’s the molecule that transmits genetic instructions to all living organisms.
Because DNA is so important, it makes sense that it gets its own day! Get ready to celebrate National DNA Day and learn more!
Two scientists from America and France published a work in 1950 that showed how DNA molecules exist as a three-dimensional double helix.
This scientific research was founded in fact much earlier. It was actually almost 100 years ago that Friedrich Miescher, a Swiss chemist, first identified DNA.
Gregor Mendel, a Czech scientist who lived in Moravia (now Czech Republic), is credited with being the “father of genealogy” for his revolutionary explanation of the basic laws behind heredity. Although his work was applicable to human genetics his first studies were done on the common pea flower.
National DNA Day was established to commemorate the 50th anniversary of James Watson’s and Francis Crick‚Äôs discovery (and published article), of the Double Helix. It also marks the completion of Genome Project, which took 13 years.
The Human Genome Project was a collaborative international research project where scientists worked together in order to determine the complete DNA sequence of the human genome. This was no easy feat! It was completed in April 2003. National DNA Day has been established to celebrate that accomplishment, and the discovery of the Double Helix.
The U.S. Congress made National DNA Day an official observance. However, the NGRI (National Human Genome Research Institute), organizes these events. These events feature speakers who go into the halls to educate students and the general public about DNA, the building block of human life.
Are you looking for ways to participate in National DNA Day celebrations? These are some ideas to get you started:
Numerous schools and scientific organisations will host events to help educate their communities or the global online community about topics related to human genetics and DNA. The US government’s website on genome research has more information.
Check out local National DNA Day events at local schools, universities, and local libraries.
An Annual DNA Essay Contest is hosted by the American Society of Human Genetics. High school students in grades 9-12 can participate. The essays will be open to anyone from any part of the world. They are intended to question, analyze, reflect, and discuss the most important concepts in genetics.
It is a great time to refresh your knowledge on DNA, heredity, and genomes. A great place to start this research is to visit the local library. Grab a book to learn more about the history of this day or a periodical to keep up-to-date on the latest developments in genome research.
No matter what topic you choose, it is great to dig into scientific reading or perform your own research.