Last updated: April 25, 2007
2007 National DNA Day Online Chatroom Transcript
The 2007 National DNA Day Moderated Chat was held on Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern. NHGRI Director Francis Collins and genomics experts from across the institute took questions from students, teachers and the general public on topics ranging from basic genomic research, to the genetic basis of disease, to ethical questions about genetic privacy.
| Good morning! Welcome to DNA Day 2007 chatroom. We have experts from the National Human Genome Research Institute standing by ready to answer your questions. So, start sending your questions in! |
What are the pros and cons of getting genetic tests?
I am just testing to see if our students will be able to access this. Thank You!
How are proteins made?
What's your favorite DNA joke?
How does a baby get an extra copy of chromosome 21?
How are DNA and RNA related?
How many possible genes are known?
What are your work surroundings like?
Do you get to spend time with your family at times, or are you alwasys being called out to work?
Do any current gene therapy treatments cure a genetic disorder, or do they only temporarily treat the person? If we are not able to cure a disorder with gene therapy now, are we close to achieving a cure through gene therapy?
Why is DNA Day on April 25th?
Do you get to spend time with your family at times, or are you alwasys being called out to work?
What's your favorite gene in a cell?
Is having twins a genetic trait?
Are scientists close to cloning a person?
| A Kailey, TN, student wants to know how much money we are paid to answer these questions and whether it is worth it. Every scientist working in the chat room today is a volunteer and it's definitely worth it because we are having a lot of fun!!!|
What's your favorite gene in a cell?
How much DNA do we have in our body?
How soon will it be until we can alter the DNA of an unborn child in the womb?
Why are people different colors?
Are there Y-linked traits and/or disorders/diseases in existence?
Is it possible to change a gene if you are full grown man/woman and will it affect that person phenotype?
How do you choose whose DNA to use for the human genome?
Can DNA repair itself? If so, how and how long would it take?
Is suicide genetic?
What field of genetics would you recommend someone to study at this time? Is there a field that is advancing more quickly than others currently?
Why is Down syndrome more evident in births where the mother is older?
With DNA testing, can you find out if your infant would have a chance of being obese?
Why is DNA so famous?
Who came up with the name DNA?
Do you enjoy what you do?
With the development of the the haplotype map, how will disease and health in humans be affected? Will this research better enable the discoveries of cures, or why some occur?
| Some of you have sent messages asking why your questions aren't being answered immediately. We are receiving many questions from students and teachers across the nation. Our experts are busy answering as many questions as possible, but you may need to check back later in the day to see if your particular question has been answered. Thanks!|
4. Because the judicial system often resorts to DNA as concrete evidence, do you believe the public is aware of the potential errors and restrictions on DNA testing?
Who thought of DNA day?
How many genetic disorders can currently be identified in unborn children?
Is it possible to genetically alter animals to combine them, for example a human and a horse to make them one new, altered species?
Do all people have the same amount of genes?
If a fetus has Down syndrome can it be cured before it is born?
What does DNA stand for? I seem to have forgotten since college.
What ideas do you have for motivating students to pursue a career in the field of science, especially life sciences?
| Joining us now in the DNA Day chatroom are Andrea Kalfoglou, a researcher in NHGRI's Social and Behavioral Reserach Branch, and Tony Antonellis, a researcher in NHGRI's Genome Technology Branch. |
if you get a sex change, can it affect your DNA?
Do identical twins have identical DNA?
Do homosexual people have gene that says they will be homosexual?
| And another expert has just come in to answer your questions. Flavia Facio is a researcher in our Genetic Disease Research Branch.|
Does DNA control your emotions? If so can they be changed permanently?
What are the best university for studying biology or medical science?
Do you think that there are many more genetic diseases than we know of right now? If so, are there any processes that you want to work with to get to find this out?
How do sickle cells and altered hemoglobin provide protection against malaria? Why malaria and not other viruses? Keep up the good work!
im 100% african american, but for some odd reason, my skin is so light. can you tell me why? please.
If only 2% of the genome is coding DNA, what purpose do you think the majority of the "junk DNA" in our bodies have?
Why is there a DNA Day?
Can doctors tell what genes I have before I am born?
Up to how long after someone dies can a DNA sample be taken from their body?
How does DNA affect someone's looks?
How many genetic disorders are there in total?
What is DNA profiling and banking? should i consider it and when?
Is D.N.A. day a national holiday?
In general, what are your views on how society as a whole has reacted to the human genome project?
Wasn't it Phoebus Levine in 1929 who came up with the name DNA.
What is an X chromosome?
What does dystonia do?
Has anyone found any correlation between genetics and intelligence?
How long until geneticists can decode the human genome.
Do genetic tests give false reassurance?
Do you think it is ethical to use family's genetic information in crime cases?
| We welcome another expert to the chatroom. Joning us now is Kate Reed, a genetic counselor with the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics. |
Does bone marrow have DNA?
is it possable to have bad genes?
How close are you to a cure for cancer?
Why does mitosis occur?
DNA Day's Finally Here!!! DNA Day! cheer, cheer, cheer! DNA day fun, fun, fun! DNA day is for everyone!!!
How long does it take to get the DNA from a crime scene analyzed?
What's your favorite gene?
What does DNA have to do with Fragile X syndrome?
Is there a national DNA musuem?
DOES DNA HAVE TO DO WITH AMERICAN IDOL? WHO WILL WIN AMERICAN IDOL?
Can alleles be changed?
Flavia, are you Mexican like me?
| Now in the chatroom is Joe McInerny, a genetics educator from the National Coalition of Health Professional Education in Genetics. In addition to answering your genetics questions, feel free to send him any questions that you may have regarding evolution. |
if im adopted, how do i find out information about my birth parents' dna?
When was NHGRI established?
What is the best sample to take from a dead body for DNA testing?
How many base pairs are there in the DNA code within each cell?
Does a particular ethnic race or group at a higher risk for developing diabetes?
Why don't red blood cells contain DNA? How is the protein hemoglobin produced if it cannot be transcribed from the cell's DNA?
Do you think that we will be able to choose our genes in the future?
Since most of the genetic sequence is identical(99.9%), human beings vary by mutations in that 0.1% of base pairs. Therefore, considering the billions of people that have lived on this Earth, is it safe to hypothesize that two people have shared the same genetic sequence(excluding identical twins)?
OH YEAH DNA DAY! WOO HOO THIS IS LIKE A SECOND CHRISTMAS FOR ME. THIS SHOULD BE A NATIONAL HOLIDAY!!
In reference to the novel "Double Helix," is it possible to identify a genetic order in certain eggs and fertilize only those without the disorder?
How much longer till you find the cure for Alzheimers?
When DNA was first discovered were people suprised? Or did some people go into panic that people were going to try to steal you DNA?
Are sociability and friendliness genetically based?
DO you know if anger is associated with DNA?
What is the Human Genome Project?
why do you love your job?
What are some of the most recent advances from the Human Genome Project?
I was wondering what is happening at the molecular level during transcription/translation that makes one allele dominant over another. Does the polymerase have an affinity to the dominant allele over the recessive one? Or is the control at the translation level?
Is there a cure or treatment for color blindness?
Is it possible to "inject" your DNA with a spider's and turn out like Spiderman?
Do you think the theme from GATTACA will come true?
How could changing one base in the DNA sequence disrupt the production of essential amino acids?
What would happen if humans didn't have genetics?
Is it possible for gene mutations to develop in the later stages of life?
Do you think that later we can modify DNA in order for a human being to reach perfection?
What does your day typically look like? Are there people who work in your field without participating in research?
Is there a gene for for the way people think or see the world?
Is it possible for parents who are genetically related to have normal children?
| Another expert from the National Human Genome Research Institute has entered the chatroom. Please welcom Jean McEwen with our Ethical, Legal and Social Implications program.|
How can the knowledge of RNAi be manipulated by scientists to our advantage?
how close are people on creating a way to creat eternal life or somthing like that?
Can someone change their DNA?
How linked is evolution to genetics?
Primarily, where is most genetic research conducted?
Have they used gene therapy for treating breast cancer?
How can something so small, like DNA, hold so much information about a person?
As high school athletes continue to strive for more of an edge, could these athletes gain that edge by using DNA as a substitute for steroids?
Is the ability to memorize things quickly inherited?
Can DNA make noise?
If you volunteer to clone yourself, is it still illegal?
How long is a strand of DNA?
Why do you like your job, Flavia?
Do you believe the term "race" should be used when referring to different ethnic backgrounds? How woudl you define the tow terms to students?
Does anyone have the same DNA as anyone else?
I fear I may have herpes. Will it affect the dna in my children?
| Joining us now is Brian Capell, a researcher in the National Human Genome Research Institute's Genome Technology Branch. He is working on research involving progeria, a rare disease that leads to premature aging in children.|
Can you provide interactive multimedia presentation of gene mutations and chromosomal mutations for K-12 students?
how much money do you make a year
Do people have similar DNA?
Do you have DNA Day every year?
What are future directions in DNA research?
Where is ligase made and what is it made up of?
Is intelligence determinded by genes
Can you inherite a trisomy?
What are some of the experiments that you are working on right now?
What is holding back gene therapy?
Sarah, how did you decide that you wanted to become a scientist?
how does it feel to be scientist
Do you support the use of DNA in criminiology? (use of evidence for conviction, etc)
When did the human genome project start?
What do you find most benefical about working with DNA?
Is being an albino hereditary? If so, is it dominant or recessive?
Is there a way to prevent someone from inheriting a genetic disease that one or both of their parents have if doctors are aware of the inheritance risk before the baby is born?
Can DNA change as you get older?
Which one, DNA or enviroment affects a persons traits more?
do you have a wife/husband, and are they a nerd too?
What are your typical research experiments about and how do they affect us?
What is the point of DNA Day? Does anything special happen?
Is being a scientist stressful to your sex life?
What kind of scientist are you?
Will we have the same DNA in the future or will it be different?
As prenatal testing and genetic test become more used to look for genetic diseases, do you think that our privacy will be at risk with insurance agencies, and if so what do you think that we should do to combat such a thing from occurring?
Mr.McInerny, with regards to the new behaviors being demonstrated by chimps, gorillas and some bird species (i.e. tool use), do you speculate that their evolution will mirror that of humans whereby their intelligence will place them higher in the food web?
Has there been a discovered for breast cancer? Can breast cancer be inherited?
If you could be a gene, what gene would you be?
Do my genes affect my dislikes and likes?
My professor is involved in C. elegans studies. Are any of you, and in what manner?
Do you have time outside of the lab to spend time with your family?
If you have progeria, do you immediatley start to look as if you are much older then you are, or do you go through a process, like you look 20 and then 30 and then 40 etc.
What kind of education is required for your field of work?
Now it is 7:45 P.M. in India. My M.Sc. Biotechnology students are participating in DNA Day chat. What are your suggestions for building their career in Human Genetic research in Indian percepective?
In the rat, is an xx chromosome a girl and xy a boy, or are these labels different for rats?
Is there a cure for progeria?
What does it cost of having your DNA sequences to check and see if your related to someone
Is there a gene for hearing loss?
What are the symptoms of Progeria
Why is it so important to know what DNA is?
Dear Dr. Capell, What is the average life span for kids with progeria? Is there any chance to live past adolescence?
What causes a still birth (death of baby at birth)? Is it hereditary?
With the disease Progeria, does it mostly affect girls or boys or dose everyone have the same chance of getting it? how many people out of 100 get it how does it work.
Carla Easter, what do you wish to accomplish in the near future?
Does progeria limit how tall a person might grow?
can people with progenia reproduce?
is talent genetic?
How is it we know the gene for cystic fibrosis but don't know how to cure it? What is being done to find the cure for things that we know the genes for?
What does it feel like to have progeria, do you feel as old as you look?
How many doctors are there answering questions now?
How did Francis Crick and James Watson figure out the shape of DNA?
Do you think that at one point in the world, everybody will have the same DNA? If yes, why?
This might sound stupid, and it's sort of a controversial issue, but, IS there such a thing as a "gay gene"? There are lots of theories going on, but this one seems to be the most interesting, as I do see homosexuality running in families I know. Thank you.
Do all of you work in the same lab or are you all from different labs?
Can you tell my students what base pairs have to do with children aging prematurely and why these base pairs affect this process of growth!
Does skin color affect the types of diseases you can get?
When someone has a second baby does the child get the same or different chromosomes as the first one?
What is a mutation?
What is the gene that cause progeria?
Do you like your job? If so, why?
I have AIDs. Will it pass on through my genes if i have kids?
Brian Capell: What do you like about your job and why?
What chromosome causes ADHD?
Why isn't Rosalind Franklin give more credit towards our understanding of DNA??
What is the Human Genome project exactly?
Are there certain places n the world where progeria is more common?
If you can describe DNA in one sentence, what would that sentence be?
Why are some people, "small people"? What is different in their DNA?
Are Punnett squares as accurate in determining traits as they are easy to do?
| Joining us now is Jeff Schloss, a National Human Genome Research Institute scientist who's an expert in technology development.|
What is an example of a rare genetic disease?
What is one of your experiments?
Is DNA concept confined to our Earth only or is it present on other planets also?
Because I have both blonde hair and blue eyes are my genes completely recessive?
Brian Capell, what do you wish to accomplish in the near future?
Do different parts of the body contain different types of DNA?
Is it possible for the symptoms of progeria to show up at an age later then 12 or 13?
Will we ever be able to know what kind of kids we will have? Meaning their characteristics and personalities, or will we ever be able to pick?
Is bi-polar disorder genetic?
What made you want to be a scientist? How old were you when you figured out you wanted to be a scientist?
Is there any way to not get diabeties if it runs in your family, besides exercising and eating well)?
If the cure for Progeria were to work, could you apply it to people without progeria, could it keep me looking 16 for the rest of my life??
Does DNA determine a persons fingerprints? If so why is it that everybody's fingerprints are different?
Can other living things beside people get progeria?
What do you have to do to become a genetic counselor? What level of education, and what is your day like?
Does DNA develop new genes over time?
Can you change your DNA in order to prevent Diabetes?
I have a question about trisomy 21. My understanding is that 3 versions of one chromosome is usually lethal, and that it's not lethal with the 21 chromosome because that's a smaller chromosome with less genetic information in it. Is there such a thing as trisomy 22, since that's the smallest chromosome of all?
Is being a scientist stressful?
Can you create DNA?
| Wow, we are getting some great questions from you. We are trying to answer as many questions as possible. If you don't see yours answered right away, please check back later today. Also, you might want to scan the chatroom to see if a question like yours has been answered already because we try to give priority to questions that haven't been covered. Thanks! |
Is eugenics true?
How many years did you have to go to school?
| Joining us now are two new experts: Jen Sloan, a genetic counselor at the NIH Clinica Center, and Bola Odunlami, a researcher in the National Human Genome Research Institute's Social and Behavioral Research Branch.|
If someone has Progeria do you know right when they're born or do you have to wait longer?
I was recently diagnosed with lymphoma in my thyroid as a result of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Is lymphoma genetic? Should I worry about my daughter?
Jeff Schloss: Can you tell us about some of the technology used in the genetics field?
Why are parts of DNA labeled with letters and what do the letters stand for?
How do you define "success" as a scientist?
If hair is dead, how does it carry genetic information?
Would it be possible to genetically alter the genes of men to make them the perfect boyfriend or husband?
Can someone have more than the right amount of chromosomes?
Is there anyway to slow down the aging for people who have progeria?
What do M.P.H., C.G.C., F.A.A.N stand for?
Do you think that one day we will be able to have surgery or treatment that will allow us to remove genes that cause us to have diseases in the future?
Whats the best part about being a scientist?
If there is a disease that "runs in your family?" How increased is your chance of getting this disease? Pancreatic Cancer runs in my family. What are the increased chances of this type of cancer?
Do you believe in the theory of evolution?
What does DNA look like?
Are all diseases based on DNA disorders or chromosomes from your parents or from another family member?
Do your genes control your ability to process information thoroughly?
What are the ethical,legal,and social implications of the human genome project?
Why do we have sequences of amino acids similar to other animals?
What type of bonds hold the two strands of DNA together?
After all of your DNA studies, which point of the argument do you side with more - nature or nurture?
Does DNA copy itself? If it does, how many times a day?
What are oncogenes?
what happens during newborn screening? what is newborn screening?
What is the most harmful substance to DNA?
Why don't I look like anybody in my family, when my brother is practically a photocopy of my mom?
Do some genetic diseases have a greater chance of being transmitted to a child? Is there a way of determining this?
How does temperature affect DNA structure?
Why is sickle cell anemia so important?
Will cystic fibrosis ever disappear simply through evolution?
What do you think is the most bnefical part of your job?
Is there an obesity gene?
| We have another expert joining the chatroom. Please welcome Vivian Ota Wang, an expert in the ethical, legal and social implications of genetics research.|
Why is the shape of the DNA ladder an actual ladder and not another shape?
Do you think alchoholism is genetic, if so how could it be treated?
Will scientists be able to recreate genomes of ancient, extinct animals? How?
IF cloning becomes possible in the future do you think that the world will accept or rejec it??
What progress has been made in genetic research on Cystic fibrosis ?
Will it be possible to make genetically altered mosquitos to prevent malaria?
| Joning us now in the chatroom is Pnina Laric, who is an expert on scientific careers and training here at the National Human Genome Research Institute.|
Can sunlight alter your DNA?
What is "bio"technology?
I'm looking forward to having a career in this field. Can you tell me what it's like to work with tiny DNA?
What happens when someone has more or less than 46 chromosomes?
1 what is karyotyping? 2 how does it work?
is skin cancer genetic?
How do you suggest someone in middle school who's interested in science get started?
How many nucleotides are in DNA?
Would changing the DNA in food cause a problem or genetic change in the future generations of the consumer?
What was the first comercial genetically engineered product?
Are there any summer programs my students could attend to get hands-on experience with Genomics/Biotechnology?
When was the NHGRI estalished?
Is it possible to "turn on" genes in our chromosomes that are currrently not be expressed?
When do you perform a genetic test?
Where do you go to get a degree in Genetics.
How is linkage used to make gene maps?
How do you get down syndrome if nobody in your family had it? Is it possible for a baby to get down syndrome if its mother goes on an airplane while pregnant?
How small is DNA?
I'm currently in the biotech program at my school. How will this help me if I want to work with DNA as a possible future career?
Do you think genetics will lead to a longer life expectancy?
Is our DNA similar to an ant's DNA?
do you enjoy your job? i am planning to become something like you because i admire you
what are the most effective treatments for sickle cell anemia. Also, is DNA therapy an option to cure this anemia yet or will it be in the near future?
Who are the winners of the HIgh school essay contest?
is there a gene for alcoholism and an addictive personality?
where can i celebrate dna day!?
Do animals get the same diseases we can get or different diseases that we cant get?
What are some of the complex diseases for which genes have been discovered?
How do you know what primer to use when you want to sequence?
Have you ever gotten bored looking at DNA?
What is the difference between human DNA and DNA of other animals? Does it look different? Does it still have the nitrogen bases, etc?
Is there a certain gene that causes cancer?
If DNA is extracted from a person's hair and you wanted to try to match it to a person would you need a sample of their DNA from their hair or from any part of their body?
Is being right-handed or left-handed inherited?
Why would you volunteer to do this?
What do you think DNA would taste like?
What is a phenotype?
One student just asked about where to go if they want to study genetics... a listing of all the genetics grad school programs can be found here: http://www.genednet.org/sites/default/files/genome-old/pages/grad_training.shtml
Is it true that a boy would get more traits from his father than mother?
The question that arose today is about so-called "Junk DNA". What is its purpose and how does it benefit a species from an evolutionary perspective? Do all organisms possess it?
What are the better sources the general public can access if it wants to learn about genetic studies?
how is your day when you have to answer all these questions about DNA, do you get a lunch break?
What are the other ways of testing for a genetic diseases other than karyotpying? Which way is most accurate?
What courses of study should my students take when in college and graduate school to prepare for going into a field of DNA studies?
How many years does it take you to become a scientist?
What are the major steps involved in DNA replication?
Can you talk about the interaction between genetic counselors, researchers, other genetics professionals, and the general medical community?
Does DNA still function after someone dies?
What made you decide to have the career you do?
Is it possible to have a trait your parents don't have?
can DNA be seen under a microscope?
Is it possible to cure nurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer's?
When did DNA day begin?
What role does DNA play in any mental illness, such as being bipolar, or having schizophrenia?
Do simple organisms like worms have DNA similar to people?
Do your genes define your personality?
What does it take to become a forensic scientist- especially one who works in the field?
Is it possible to genetically alter a fetus to have a certain hair color, eye color, height, weight, etc.?
Is any research being done with IRNA and Huntington's Disease?
I have a genetic skin disorder called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. Have you ever heard of this disorder and can you tell me anything about the genetics of the disease, such as current research of gene theraoy, what chromosome is affetced, etc?
About how many letters are there in a human genome (all 46 chromosomes)?
| Some students are asking that their question be answered. We are doing the best we can to answer all of your questions as fast as we can, so if you don't see your's answered by the time you class is over, check back later in the day. |
How many questions do you answer in a year? Do you ever get tired of answering the same question over and over again?
What shape is DNA?
| Barbara Fuller, J.D., is now in the room and would love to have questions related to the ethics, social and legal implications of genetic research. |
| Gary Temple, M.D., one of our senior reseachers, is now online and taking your clinical questions. |
Can you change your physical fitness?
Why can't RNA undergo self replication?
Is handwriting genetic?
Are there treatments for Cri-du-chat syndrome? What is the life expectancy?
What are the factors that determine an allele to be dominant or recessive?
Can dialysis alter genetic information?
| Mary Schueler, Ph.D. from the Genome Technology Branch is entering the chat room to answer basic science questions. |
How long is the average human DNA strand?
Can you discuss the importance of learning biology and genetics in high school?
Do you have to take any special classes to have the job that you have? How long did you have to go to school for this particular job?
Posted: April 25, 2007