Did you know that today is DNA Day? Did you know that there was such a thing as DNA Day? It’s a holiday. Did you take the day off work today? What? You didn’t know??
Well, you’re not alone if you didn’t know all of this, and you’re not THAT far behind either. DNA Day was created by Congressional Resolution in 2003 – a date to commemorate two very important events – the 50th anniversary of the publication of the paper in Nature in which the discovery of DNA was announced by James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and the celebration in 2003 of the complete sequencing of the Human Genome. To find out more about this great cake, click here.
The double helix model built by Crick and Watson on display at the Science Museum in London.
Here’s what the 2003 Congressional Resolution said:
Whereas April 25, 2003, will mark the 50th anniversary of the description of the double-helix structure of DNA by James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick, considered by many to be one of the most significant scientific discoveries of the 20th Century;
Whereas, in April 2003, the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium will place the essentially completed sequence of the human genome in public databases, and thereby complete all of the original goals of the Human Genome Project;
Whereas, in April 2003, the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health in the Department of Health and Human Services will unveil a new plan for the future of genomics research;
Whereas, April 2003 marks 50 years of DNA discovery during which scientists in the United States and many other countries, fueled by curiosity and armed with ingenuity, have unraveled the mysteries of human heredity and deciphered the genetic code linking one generation to the next;
Whereas, an understanding of DNA and the human genome has already fueled remarkable scientific, medical, and economic advances; and
Whereas, an understanding of DNA and the human genome hold great promise to improve the health and well being of all Americans: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That the Congress-
(1) designates April 2003 as `Human Genome Month’ in order to recognize and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the outstanding accomplishment of describing the structure of DNA, the essential completion of the sequence of the human genome, and the development of a plan for the future of genomics;
(2) designates April 25, 2003, as ‘DNA Day’ in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of the description of the structure of DNA on April 25, 1953; and
(3) recommends that schools, museums, cultural organizations, and other educational institutions across the nation recognize Human Genome Month and DNA Day and carry out appropriate activities centered on human genomics, using information and materials provided through the National Human Genome Research Institute and through other entities.
Passed the Senate February 27, 2003.
The resolution only declared a one-time celebration, not an annual holiday. DNA Day celebrations have been organized by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) starting in 2010. April 25th has been since declared “International DNA Day” and “World DNA Day” by several organizations.
To visit the DNA Day webpage, click here.
Maybe more important to genetic genealogists is that Family Tree DNA almost always has a sale today and true to form, they are this year as well. The sale, extended from this past weekend, ends tonight.
But for planning purposes, now that you know, plan to celebrate this important holiday next year by taking the day off work and doing something interesting like:
- Swab a friend
- Swab a cousin
- Swab your spouse to see if you two are related and/or if s/he has the warrior gene
- Swab your dog to see what kind of mutt s/he is
- Swab your parents/grandparents
- Swab any older generation person in your family
- Upgrade a genealogy cousin’s DNA test (with their permission of course)
- Be a DNA ambassador and visit a school or genealogy organization to speak about personal genetics
- Take yourself on a date to a science museum
Happy DNA Day!!!