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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 gene expression?
     Pam Schwartzberg, M.D., Ph.D.: We study mouse models of primary immunodeficiencies (genetic diseases that impair the ability of the immune system to fight infections) and how specific disorders affect responses to infectious diseases. Gene expression is when a gene is turned on, that is when a gene is copied into RNA. That RNA copy can be translated into proteins or function as RNA's on their own. Gene expression can also refer to what genes are turned on in a given cell (ie what RNA's are made in a given cell).
Scarlet Oaks in OH (12th grade student)

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