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April 25th – Celebrate DNA DAY!

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 11:09 AM
Friday, April 15, 2011

That’s right, April 25th is National DNA Day! In 2003, it was proclaimed as such by both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. DNA Day is a remembrance of the advancements in DNA technology. Among them: a ground breaking article on the structure of DNA which was first published in 1953; and the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003.While you might not have the day off, you might want to stop and think about just what DNA has done for us.

Whether you are in the industry as a geneticist, scientist, doctor, of just a regular citizen, you probably understand how big of a contribution mapping our human genome has made to our lives. From medicine, cancer and disease research, the more we understand the better equipped we are to provide personalized medicine to each and every person. So this April, honor these advancements by taking some time to think about DNA and some of it’s many uses:

1. In archeology, DNA helps record genetic information of life on earth many centuries ago. This creates a data base that can be used to learn more about our planet’s past.

2. Genetic testing is used to determine the paternity or maternity of a child.

3. DNA testing can be used to help create a family tree or genealogical chart. Through genetic databases one can trace lost relatives or find their ancestral heritage. Using both the Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA people can use DNA testing to establish ancestral lines (both remain unchanged for generations). Now, technology is improving and recent advancements have been made in using non-sex chromosomes for ancestral research.

4. Prenatal genetic tests can help doctors determine whether or not the unborn fetus are predisposed to have certain health problems.

5. DNA tests are also used to help solve murders and other crimes. In recent years, many unsolved mysteries have been solved due to new and better types of analysis, as well as clearing many people found guilty of crimes that they did not commit.

6. DNA testing finds great use in the health field as DNA sometimes is the cause of rare medical conditions or heritable diseases.

7. Genetic testing is used in healths checks. For example it can be used to help determine the presence of viruses or cells that have mutated (causing cancer).

8. DNA tests are often used to reunite lost siblings or families or identify remains of the unknown. The genetics of a person leaves an indelible mark and this is used by police, military and authorities, as well as individuals to confirm relationships.

9. DNA tests on new species, or on material from outer space, help scientists and researchers determine the origins of a species and where they stand with reference to known living forms.

There are even more applications then the 9 mentioned, but this might give you a glimpse into the basic importance of our genetic relationship with ourselves and our surrounding. So, on April 25th, celebrate DNA Day!


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