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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 diffrence in DNA and RNA?
     Samir Kelada, Ph.D., M.P.H.: Identifying genes that confer susceptibility to allergic asthma. The difference between DNA and RNA is that DNA is the "source code" that provides all the basic instructions for life. RNA is structurally like DNA but it represents the intermediate between DNA and proteins. Proteins, you may know, are the things that carry out most of the biological processes in our bodies. So the general order of things is: DNA, which is read like code to produce RNA, which is then translated to make proteins, which carry out biological processes.
Abbeville High School in SC (12th grade student)

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