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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 makes the DNA molecule turn into a spiral?
     Phyllis Frosst, Ph.D.: Investigating genetic discrimination, direct to consumer marketing of genetic tests and pharmacogenomics. Watson and Crick published a paper that answers this very question on this day more than 50 years ago. The chemical structure of the DNA molecule itself causes it to spiral, it has to do with the way sugar and phosphate molecules in the backbone fit together. What's really amazing about the spiral is that the structure and shape are essential for DNA to function.
Genesee School District in MI (10th grade teacher)

< View ALL questions and answers from 2008

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