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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 new discoveries have you guys uncovered lately?
     Samir Kelada, Ph.D., M.P.H.: Identifying genes that confer susceptibility to allergic asthma. There are new discoveries coming out every week! Here a few recent ones that are fun: 1. Twins are not totally genetically identical! They differ in their epigenomes - not the actual DNA sequence but the way the DNA is packaged and read. 2. Some common diseases are the result of small changes in our DNA, diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and more. 3. Certain traits in dogs, like the racing speed of whippets and greyhounds, have ben traced to genetics too. How's that for exciting!
Alpharetta High School in GA (9th grade student)

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