National DNA Day is a day designated by the National Human Genome Research Institute [https://www.genome.gov/] to commemorate the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953. Dr. James Watson and Dr. Francis Crick, working alongside Dr. Rosalind Franklin, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1962 for their discovery of the structure of DNA. Figuring out how DNA was structured allowed scientists to begin decoding DNA molecules and laid the foundation for the Human Genome Project – a multi-nation collaborative scientific research project to determine the sequence human DNA and to identify and map all of the genes of the human genome completed in 2003.
Both of these huge accomplishments paved the road for DNA testing as we know it today. Understanding the structure of DNA and knowing more about how genes cause inherited disease led to advances in DNA testing such as newborn screening and carrier screening. Today, both of these DNA tests are widely used to ensure the health of infants everywhere.
You can celebrate National DNA day by learning more about these two huge scientific accomplishments and some of the discoveries that preceded them. This cool interactive website of genetic discoveries lets you walk through the history of DNA. [https://unlockinglifescode.org/timeline?tid=4 ]. Another site, From the Blueprint to You [https://www.genome.gov/12511466/from-the-blueprint-to-you/ ] explores the world of genetics, DNA and the future of genomics.
So have fun exploring DNA history on National DNA day.