National DNA Day 2018
National DNA Day is celebrated each year in April.
In April 1953, the paper by James Watson and Francis Crick describing the structure of DNA was published in the scientific journal Nature. With help from other scientists, Watson and Crick were the first to describe DNA as a double helix, or a twisted ladder shape. Notably, their model of DNA suggested how genetic information is stored and copied. National DNA Day commemorates this important landmark in science.
This year, National DNA Day marks the 15-year anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project, the international effort that identified the order, or sequence, of more than 3 billion building blocks (base pairs) in human DNA. The Human Genome Project was finished in 2003, 50 years after Watson and Crick described DNA as a double helix. National DNA Day 2018 also coincides with the 15-year anniversary of Genetics Home Reference.
The National Human Genome Research Institute and other organizations will celebrate National DNA day on April 25, 2018. The links below provide more information about National DNA Day, the discovery of DNA's structure, and the Human Genome Project.
- National DNA Day (National Human Genome Research Institute)
- 10 Things To Do At Home, Or In The Classroom, On National DNA Day (Genome: Unlocking Life's Code)
- GeneEd: DNA Day (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
- '15 for 15' Celebration (National Human Genome Research Institute)
- James D. Watson Archives (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)
- The Francis Crick Papers (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
- The 1953 Paper by Watson and Crick (Nature) (PDF)
- Genome: Unlocking Life's Code
- The Human Genome Project (Genetics Home Reference)
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