National Institutes of Health U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
NHGRI Researchers Go Back to School for National DNA Day
BETHESDA, Md., April 22, 2003 - On April 25, dozens of researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will head back to schools in their hometowns - from Newtonville, Mass. to Newport Beach, Calif. - and speak to students about the genome revolution and genetic research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The presentations are timed to coincide with National DNA Day, a day set aside by Congress to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of the landmark paper by Drs. James Watson and Francis Crick, which described the double helix structure of DNA and to also offer educational opportunities to teachers and students. To do this, NHGRI has developed educational tools on genetics and genomics that are freely available to teachers and students to help them make the most of National DNA Day. (National DNA Day)
Alan Guttmacher, M.D., NHGRI's deputy director, and Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director of NIH, will go to their hometown of Baltimore, Md. to talk to students at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute where Dr. Kington attended high school.
In another historic moment earlier this month, NHGRI, the Department of Energy (DOE) and their international partners announced the successful completion of the Human Genome Project, the effort to sequence the 3 billion DNA letters in the human genetic instruction book. Many of the genetic pioneers from the past 50 years spoke at the April events to celebrate the occasion.
"The completion of the Human Genome Project is a monumental achievement, but it's only the beginning." said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "We are depending on the next generation of scientists to translate the human genome sequence and use it to prevent, treat and eventually cure the common diseases that afflict families around the globe. National DNA Day is a wonderful opportunity for NHGRI researchers to make personal contact with students and get them excited about the 'era of the genome'."
The astronomer Carl Sagan once said, "Everybody starts out as a scientist. Every child has the scientist's sense of wonder and awe." By making a presentation on National DNA day, NHGRI researchers hope to encourage this sense of wonder and awe and act as a catalyst for students pursuing careers in science.
NHGRI is one of the 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
To arrange an interview with a scientist visiting your area, please contact Geoff Spencer, (301) 402-0911.
DNA - The Next Generation An Educational Videocast
Nobel laureate James Watson and NHGRI Director Francis Collins discuss with high school students the past, present and future of DNA. A webcast of the event will be available starting on April 25. The 30-minute program also will be fed via satellite at two different times on April 25: 9:00 a.m.Eastern and 1:00 p.m. Eastern.
Genetics Education Modules
A series of educationmodules, including specific teaching plans, that present the history, facts and genetic terminology behind the Human Genome Project, as well as the ethical, legal and social questions surrounding this research.
Exploring Our Molecular Selves
An online, multimedia education kit on the Human Genome Project.
Genetics Mentorship Program
A new, nationwide program created to provide genetics experts for the classroom.
Human Genetic Variation
An online curriculum supplement on the basics of human genetics.
Joint Genome Institute from the Department of Energy
This full-color educational poster, entitled "Genomics: The Human Genome and Beyond," is available free to teachers and genomics professionals. The placemat-sized poster features basic information on DNA, protein synthesis, the genome sequencing process, comparative genomics, human differences and mutations, and genomics applications. Visit: www.jgi.doe.gov.