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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 is the worst thing that can happen to you to alter your DNA that you can prevent from happening?
     Dale Lea, R.N., M.P.H., C.G.C., F.A.A.N.: Developing genetics, health education and community involvement programs and resources, and translating genetic and genomic information for the public. We know that lung cancer is serious and often fatal disease. Researchers are sure that cigarette smoking can alter your DNA, so not smoking or quitting smoking is a means of prevention. We also know that skin can be caused by too much sun exposure. Excessive sun exposure can also cause gene changes, so avoiding too much sun or protecting your skin with sun block can help to prevent gene changes from happening.
Lugoff-Elgin High School in SC (10th grade student)

< View ALL questions and answers from 2008

(short, single keywords work best at first)