Skip to main content

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 does cDNA stand for and what does it do?
     Heidi Parker, Ph.D.: Comparing the dog genome to the human genome in an effort to answer questions about disease in both dogs and humans. The c in cDNA stands for complementary. It is created by reverse transcribing the messenger RNA turning it back into DNA which is often stored in libraries. This allows the researcher to see which parts of the DNA strand is used in coding different proteins and can show which genes are being expressed in the tissue that was used to create the cDNA.
St. Ignatius College Prep in IL (11th grade student)

< View ALL questions and answers from 2008

(short, single keywords work best at first)