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2010 National DNA Day Online Chatroom Transcript

This is just one question from an archive of the National DNA Day Moderated Chat held in April 2010. 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.

How similar is human DNA to plant DNA?
     Sandy Woo, M.S.: I provide genetic counseling (risk assessment, education, facilitating decisions) to families and individuals with or who are at risk for birth defects and genetic conditions. The basic structure of DNA (ie, double helix) is shared among all living organisms. The code or sequence of DNA (instructions for our cells) is different. Even so, our DNA is likely more similar to plants than different. For example, we share approximately 60% of our DNA with a banana plant.
Arabia Mountain High School in GA (9th grade student)

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