D N A Day April 20, 2012

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National DNA Day is a unique day when students, teachers and the public can learn more about genetics and genomics! The day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, and the discovery of DNA's double helix. Next year, NHGRI will celebrate National DNA Day on April 20, 2012.

  • Enter: The 7th Annual National DNA Day Essay Contest! New
    The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) invites you to participate in the 7th Annual DNA Day Essay Contest! The contest is open to students in grades 9-12. The contest aims to challenge students to examine, question, and reflect on the important concepts of genetics. Essays are expected to contain substantive, well-reasoned arguments indicative of a depth of understanding of the concepts related to the essay questions.

    Essays are read and evaluated by several independent judges through three rounds of scoring.

    • 1st Place Winner: $1,000 + teacher receives a $1,000 grant for laboratory genetics equipment.
    • 2nd Place Winner: $600 + teacher receives a $600 grant for laboratory genetics equipment.
    • 3rd Place Winner: $400 + teacher receives a $400 grant for laboratory genetics equipment.
    • Honorable Mention: 10 prizes of $100 each.
    This year there is one question, which deals with gene regulation. Remember to support your argument with citations from scientific journal articles, books, newspapers, etc. Take advantage of research published by experts, which is often more reliable than Web sources, blogs, or other references from people who lack specialized knowledge.

  • Learn About: The 2012 National DNA Day Awards New

National DNA Day 2011 Resources

For more ideas on how to celebrate DNA Day in your classroom, browse our DNA Day pages using the choices at the top of this page and try out our learning activities from DNA Day celebrations in the past. All of the activiites here are aimed at inspiring the next generation of scientists who will use the human genome sequence to benefit human health.

National DNA Day News and Features

For questions about DNA Day or DNA Day resources, please send an e-mail to:

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Last Updated: November 28, 2011

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We welcome your comments and expect that our conversation will follow the general rules of respectful civil discourse. We review all comments for posting. You are fully responsible for everything that you submit in your comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain. We do not discriminate against any views, but we reserve the right not to post comments.


  • DNA1953 (July 22, 2011, 20:43)

    It was Gregor Mendel's birthday on Tuesday and he made a huge contribution to the discovery DNA, so think we should celebrate that. It is also Rosalind Franklin's 91st birthday on Monday and I'm looking forward to it. If anyone wants watch a great genetic documentry, watch THE CELL with Adam Rutherford, it's great.

  • Sish I-zet (May 3, 2011, 22:06)

    What a splendid idea to promote genetics interests like these! Looking forward to making DNA more official and festive everywhere!

  • dazz (April 26, 2011, 01:21)

    DNA day!!! Splendid...lets learn... create somthing new, fantastic to humans...

  • Sindhu Mahavidyalaya India (April 25, 2011, 12:49)

    Happy DNA Day to all of you. Let us try to make it international DNA Day.

  • Cynthia (April 22, 2011, 15:24)

    I love DNA day! For extra credit, I made a Double Helix in Biology class. I am thinking of becoming a geneticist some day.

  • Brittany Williams (April 19, 2011, 17:35)

    DNA is very interesting!

  • Anonymous (April 15, 2011, 15:16)

    I *heart* DNA. I'd be lost without it!

  • Anonymous (April 15, 2011, 14:56)

    Will there be a complementary RNA Day in six months?

  • dna1953 (April 15, 2011, 03:10)

    DNA is my favourite thing in the world. I hope others will soon realise how important it is in our life. I would also like to comemorate the death of Rosalind Franklin the dark lady of DNA. She provided the x-ray pictures which led to the discovery of the structure of DNA. She has never been properly acknwoledged. I hope one day to become a geneticist.

  • Ian (April 10, 2011, 03:03)

    Regarding DNA for genealogy... the two major direct to consumer companies (with largely non-overlapping specialties) are: Both of these companies have been known to have DNA Day promos in the past. But be quick, they won't last long!

  • HI (April 8, 2011, 16:11)


  • vpHUMAN (April 8, 2011, 09:35)

    A day to remind us of a quest to cure many and improve the quality of many more!

  • Super DNA (April 7, 2011, 06:55)

    DNA, We love you

  • Family Tree DNA Promotion (April 6, 2011, 13:07)

    Family Tree DNA will have a promotion on their DNA tests on April 15 - DNA Day.

  • HHHH (March 27, 2011, 11:36)

    Why is there a DNA Day ????????

  • dnarules! (March 26, 2011, 16:44)

    I love DNA I hope everyone realizes that DNA double helix was truly discovered by Rosalind Franklin with her work though xray crystallography thanks to her Watson and Crick were able to make their discovery

  • Heather (March 6, 2011, 03:23)

    Where would one go to have their DNA mapped for genealogical research purposes? A breakdown of ethenticity if you will.

  • DNA dog LOL (February 28, 2011, 10:44)

    I love the topic of DNA and I am doing national history day on DNA analysis. DNA ROCKS!

  • lokesh (February 4, 2011, 03:45)

    I have interest to know about dna.

  • Anonymous (October 6, 2010, 01:13)

    Does each person have their own DNA and that no one else has the same DNA, even in the family structure?

  • Jerome poker (September 13, 2010, 12:34)

    I Didn't know DNA Day, but hope to have more information about it...

  • aliA (September 8, 2010, 13:29)

    I think that there should be a DNA Directory along with all of this information. This should be especially accessible to young women.

  • Anonymous (September 7, 2010, 13:00)

    interesting to learn more about dna.

  • Sam Nguyen (August 14, 2010, 19:12)

    It was my schools Science Week last week so I bought a DNA book from my school library because I thought DNA was so interesting.

  • seda ak (May 4, 2010, 14:38)

    I love dna day, it is my favorite thing.

  • this gurll lol (April 24, 2010, 14:35)

    i think DNA is sooo interesting, thank the world for DNA day!!!!! :)

  • Chris (April 23, 2010, 18:07)

    It's also St George's Day in England!

  • Thomas J. Kempkes (April 23, 2010, 17:18)

    DNA is one of my favorite things. I don't know where I would be without it.

  • Genetic Marker (April 23, 2010, 15:27)

    Why does the date change every year? Anybody have an answer?

  • Too much time on my hands (April 23, 2010, 12:48)

    How come DNA day changes date every year?

  • Laylah Davis (April 23, 2010, 12:27)

    In what way has DNA changed the medical field?

  • joe (April 23, 2010, 10:04)

    i love dna day

  • DLove (April 23, 2010, 09:47)

    I love it!

  • SPB (April 22, 2010, 14:12)

    Heartly Congratulations from India on the occasion of DNA Day 2010. We are Eagerly awaiting for online chatroom to open so that we can interact globally.

  • JJ (April 21, 2010, 11:06)

    What a wonderful thing to commemorate! Just think of how our lives have improved and our intellects have expanded since the discovery of the double-helix. Isn't science awesome?!

  • RNA (April 15, 2010, 16:33)

    I hate DNA day

  • Michelle Islas-Smith (April 12, 2010, 18:47)

    Is it true gene mapping proves plants thought to be from the same family are not and those thought to be dissimilar are actually related?

  • Charlie D (April 12, 2010, 15:19)


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