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. This year, NHGRI will celebrate National DNA Day on April 20, 2012.

DNA Day Online Chatroom

    The National DNA Day online chatroom is now closed!

    Check out our transcript to read all of the questions and answers from the 2012 Chatroom.

DNA Day Essay Contest

  • The 7th Annual National DNA Day Essay Contest Winners Announced!

    The 2012 DNA Day Essay Contest winners are:

      Student Grade School City / State Teacher
    1st Place Nathan Swetlitz 11 Chicagoland Jewish High School Deerfield, IL Robert Taylor
    2nd Place Kevin Zhang 12 Hatboro-Horsham High School Horsham, PA Maria Simon
    3rd Place Girishkumar Chandrasekar 10 Naperville Central High School Naperville, IL Nicholas DiGiovanni
    Honorable Mention: Jason Lam, Stuyvesant High School, NY (Teacher: Maria Nedwidek); Monica Woolley, Punahou School, HI (Teacher: Marguerite Ashford); Lindsay Leigler, Tesoro High School, CA (Teacher: Megan Gray); Emily Kragel, Junius H. Rose High School, NC (Teacher: Jedediah Smith); Brian Lue, The John Cooper School, TX (Teacher: Holly Barlaam); Kristen Datta, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, MN (Teacher: Tina Barsky); Vivienne Chen, Montgomery Blair High School, MD (Teacher: Angelique Bosse); Tejas Sundaresan, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, NC (Teacher: Myra Halpin); Lucy Li, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, MN (Teacher: Tina Barsky); Gabrielle Ewall, Cold Spring Harbor High School, NY (Teacher: Jaak Raudsepp).

    1st place:
    $1,000 + teacher receives a $1,000 grant for laboratory genetics equipment.
    2nd place: $600 + teacher receives a $600 grant for laboratory genetics equipment.
    3rd place: $400 + teacher receives a $400 grant for laboratory genetics equipment.
    Honorable mention: 10 prizes of $100 each.

DNA Day Awards

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

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

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Last Updated: April 20, 2012

Leave a Comment!

We encourage you to share your thoughts as they relate to the topics being discussed on, other websites or discussion forums owned or administered by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). We review all comments for posting. We do not discriminate against any views, but we reserve the right not to post comments, or to remove comments, that are inconsistent with our Comment Policy, at our complete discretion.


  • Carlos Fernando Castaneda O. - BIMAC UniCauca Colmbia (July 16, 2012, 09:18)

    Hey, we are going to develop our DNA Day at Universidad del Cauca today. Thank you for all resources available.

  • Anonymous (April 25, 2012, 11:26)


  • Roxy (April 25, 2012, 10:34)

    Wow, I never heard of this day but I think it's a great idea to educate us on our genetics so we can learn more about how our genes work.. Good idea guys.

  • Looking (April 25, 2012, 10:25)

    This day is a sad reminder for me! I was recently laid off my genomic job (which I loved) due to site closure! The only other genomic company in my city just announced its closure!

  • Lisa hickman (April 25, 2012, 09:28)

    DNA Rocks!

  • Anonymous (April 21, 2012, 10:10)

    Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics is looking for authors for 2 symposia: Patient and Research Participant Experiences with Genome-Scale Testing (Symposium Editors Laura M. Beskow, MPH, PhD and Wylie Burke, MD, PhD). Parenting Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders During the Transition to Adulthood (Symposium Editors Kelly Dineen, JD, RN and Margaret Bultas, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC). Proposals for stories still welcome. See our full call here: Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics (NIB) provides a forum for exploring current issues in bioethics through the publication and analysis of personal stories, qualitative and mixed-methods research articles, and case studies. Articles may address the experiences of patients and research participants, as well as health care workers and researchers. NIB is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of bioethical issues by engaging rich descriptions of complex human experiences. While NIB upholds appropriate standards for narrative inquiry and qualitative research, it seeks to publish articles that will appeal to a broad readership of health care providers and researchers, bioethicists, sociologists, policy makers, and others.

  • Anonymous (April 20, 2012, 10:13)

    Thank you for all your hard work and education to make this such a wonderful resource. You people are awesome.

  • Dr. Prem Raj Pushpakaran (April 9, 2012, 04:10)

    DNA day (April 20) commemoration would certainly stimulates me on working with this wonderful biopolymer (DNA) that encodes the blueprint of life. Dr. Prem Raj Pushpakaran

  • Anonymous (March 31, 2012, 13:26)


  • ALLAN ROSS (March 13, 2012, 13:04)

    in answer to Michelle: Taxonomy is not totally accurate because before we cannot prove the relations of animals and plants. It contains errors but of course most of them are obviously accurate.The originators of Taxonomy did not have modern tools to know what we know now.

  • 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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