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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.

are humans still evolving?
     Alan Guttmacher, M.D.: Developing new research tools to translate the findings of the Human Genome Project (HGP) into new diagnostic tests and therapies. Despite occasional evidence to the contrary, yes. As in all other species, evolution never stops occurring in humans. Evolution occurs slowly, of course, so it is hard to actually "see" it happening, but we are continuing to evolve. One can imagine, for instance, that if global warming persists for a sufficient number of human generations, we might evolve in ways that would allow us to survive more effectively in the new environment of the earth. Of course, evolution, does happen slowly, so it is a much better idea to combat global warming itself, rather than counting on our adopting to it somehow...
St. Ignatius College Prep in IL (12th grade student)

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