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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.

what made you want to become a scientist? And how do it feel to help people?
     Alan Guttmacher, M.D.: Developing new research tools to translate the findings of the Human Genome Project (HGP) into new diagnostic tests and therapies. In fact, what made me want to be a scientist was, most of all, the desire to help people (and, also, that I am curious and interested in finding out things that no one has ever known before). It is an incredibly wonderful feeling when you are part of a scientific team that discovers some information than then translates into helping people - for instance, by leading to a new cure for a disease or even a way to prevent the disease from occurring. It is hard for me to imagine anything that can be satisfying as doing work that you know is helping other people. Of course, many jobs allow you to do that, but scientific and medical research is certainly among them.
Flint Northern Academy in MI (12th grade student)

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