National DNA Day
National DNA Day:
This day is celebrated on the 25th of April each year to recognize the National DNA Day. On this day, we acknowledge the discovery made by James Watson and Francis Crick, as they published a short letter to the science journal ‘Nature’ regarding the discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
|2022||25th April||Wednesday||United States|
|2023||25th April||Thursday||United States|
|2024||25th April||Friday||United States|
Why National DNA Day?
The term ‘Life’ got a new meaning the day DNA was officially discovered, and since then, we have a new bond to the way we see ourselves. We discovered our families through gene mapping, found meaning to why we behaved the way we do and helped us understand the origin of life.
Did you know that when DNA was accidentally discovered? There is often a misconception that DNA was first identified by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, but in reality, it was discovered way before that in the 1800s. The story begins in 1860, the lab that was part of the University of Tübingen situated in Southern Germany, where A Swiss Chemist named Johann Friedrich Miescher first identified DNA. He first set out to research the key components of the white blood cells that are part of the human body’s immune system. Johann then carried out the experiment using salt solutions to better understand what the white blood cells are made of; after he added the solution, he noticed that the solution caused the cell to separate, and he dissolved it again with alkali. When Johann was investigating the substance formed, he realized that it had properties that were different, and he called it Nuclein because he believed that it derived from the cell nucleus. That day, unknown to Johann, had discovered the molecules that formed the basis of life, the DNA. Johann had only formally published the results in 1874 due to personal reasons. Later the research was taken forward by many respected and dedicated scientists who found every component of DNA, which changed the face of science and life as we knew it.
In 2003, the Human Genome Project was completed, and so the National DNA Day recalls the project and the discovery made in 1953 of the DNA’s double helix by James Watson and Francis Crick. The day is officially celebrated on April 25th and began after its very first session after the 108th United States Congress passed the resolution designating the day for celebrating.
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), which is part of the National Institute of Health, encourages different committees and organizations to host events commemorating National DNA Day from January till May every year.
How can we observe National DNA Day:
- National Human Genome Research Institute: The NHGRI coordinates a set of exciting events starting from April 23rd to 26th to celebrate this day. They bring in speakers and scientists to understand the functions and talk about the future discoveries possible because of DNA.
- NC DNA Day: The DNA Day Network is a group that is situated in the United States and hosts its own DNA Day events. This is an annual event that connects NC research universities to over 100 local high schools to spend the day teaching the students about genetics by lining up lectures and fun activities which would help them learn better.
- American Society of Human Genetics: The American Society of Human Genetics annually hosts a DNA Day Essay Contest for high schools throughout the United States for students from grades 9 to 12. The members of ASHG judge and announce the winners by April 25th.
The topic changes yearly to invoke a sense of curiosity among students.
You can share such information by using hashtag #nationaldnaday #dna #dnaday
Interesting facts about National DNA Day:
Here are some interesting facts about your DNA
- Your DNA could be stretched from the earth to the sun and back about 600 times.
- We are all about 99.9% alike,
- The human genome contains about 3 billion base pairs of DNA
- A DNA test could also reveal that you are more Irish than your siblings could be.
- 9% of our DNA is similar to other humans.
History of National DNA Day:
Every year on April 25th, we observe DNA Day, celebrating the day in 1953. James Watson and Francis Crick published a paper explaining the structure of DNA and the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003. The two milestones which have helped make extraordinary development are made in the field of genetics.