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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.

I am very into animal rights and wonder if there is any way to research DNA and still consider the animals? What are your opinions on animal rights in the science field?
     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. There are many areas of biology and genetics that do not deal with animal subjects but when they do it is because there is no better way to get the answers that are needed. Scientists are also very concerned about animal welfare and never put an animal at risk if there is any other way to arrive at an answer. We have entire branches devoted to reviewing study designs and making sure that animals subjects are always treated humanely.
Kittanning Senior High School in PA (9th grade student)

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