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2008 National DNA Day Online Chatroom Transcript

This is just one question from an archive of the National DNA Day Moderated Chat held in April 2008. 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.


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Who's DNA was used for the human genome project.
     Larry Thompson, M.S., M.F.A.: Leads the Communications Branch at the Genome Institute. When the public Human Genome Project was lauched, the researchers decided not to have the DNA come from a single individual. Instead, one of the researchers working on the project put an advertisement in the local newspaper in upstate New York to get volunteers to donate some blood and then extracted DNA from the white blood cells of several anonymous volunteers. So, no one actually knows whose DNA was seqeunced in the original Human Genome Project -- and it doesn't really matter because it is a reference sequence for all of us and we know that we all differ by some one-tenth of a percent so no single individual's DNA would make a perfect reference sequence anyway.
Liberty Jr.Sr. High School in PA (10th grade student)


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