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2012 National DNA Day Online Chatroom Transcript

This is just one question from an archive of the National DNA Day Moderated Chat held in April 2012. The NHGRI Director and many genomics experts from across NHGRI 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.

How much DNA is in our body?
     Jennifer Walsh: I am currently a genetic counseling student at the Boston University Master's Program in Genetic Counseling. My clinical experience includes preconception, prenatal, pediatric, and cancer genetic counseling. I also have experience working in a molecular diagnostic laboratory. Humans have 46 chromosomes that contain all of the genetic information, and there are over 25,000 genes in the human genome. Genes are composed of DNA, and it is predicted that there are over 3 billion basepairs in the human genome. Humans have approximately 10 trillion cells, so if you were to line all of the DNA found in every cell of a human body it would stretch from the earth to the sun 100 times!
McDowell Intermediate High School in PA (10th grade student)

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