Let’s Play DNA on Jeopardy!

My cousin, Kelly, e-mailed me saying that recently Jeopardy! had a category called:

I JUST TOOK A DNA TEST

I think this means that DNA is most definitely now a mainstream topic. Jeopardy has been having championships, and Kelly says that the contestants did quite well with these questions.

Let’s play along and see how we do. Write your “questions” to the following answers down on a piece of paper, and I’ll provide the Jeopardy questions at the end.

$400 Answer is below:

DNA TESTS CAN TELL YOU IF YOU ARE THIS 7-LETTER HOLDER OF RECESSIVE GENES FOR A GENETIC DISEASE

$800 Answer is below:

…BECAUSE I LOVE SCIENCE, I HAD THIS, MY FULL SET OF CHROMOSOMES, SEQUENCED TO BETTER UNDERSTAND MY FAMILY’S HISTORY OF MENTAL ILLNESS

The $1,200 Answer is below:

FOR INFO ON GREAT-GREAT-GRANDMA, GENETIC DATA PASSED ON FROM YOUR MOTHER CAN UE USED IN THE mtDNA TEST, NAMED FOR THIS ORGANELLE

The $1,600 Answer is below:

YOU CAN LEARN YOUR ETHNICITY USING DNA IN YOUR AUTOSOMES, NON-SEX CHROMOSOMES; MOST PEOPLE HAVE THIS MANY SETS OF AUTOSOMES

The $2,000 Answer is below:

DNA IS COMPOSED OF NUCLEOTIDES, WHICH CONTAIN 4 NITROGENOUS BASES REPRESENTED BY THESE 4 LETTERS

Ok, compile your questions to the above answers and let’s see how you did, according to Jeopardy:

  • $400 question – What is “a carrier?”
  • $800 question – What is “a genome?”
  • $1200 question – What is “mitochondria.”
  • $1600 question – What is “22?”
  • $2000 question – What is “A, C, T and G?”

How did you do? I tended to overthink the answers. For example, for the $800 question, the mental illness/health aspect of the answer made me think they were seeking Exome, which is the medical portion of the genome. Judges?

For the $1200 question, I thought that since they said mtDNA, the question couldn’t possible be mitochondria. That would be too easy because they gave that away in the answer – but mitochondria was correct.

For the last question, I overthought the answer and gave the full nucleotide name, not the abbreviation, even though the answer clearly said letters.

This is why I’m not on Jeopardy😊

How much DNA Jeopardy money did you accumulate? Now if we could just spend that money for DNA tests, right?

15 thoughts on “Let’s Play DNA on Jeopardy!

  1. Well, I got the Adenine, Guanine, Thiamine and Cytosine answer right. Who said high school biology wouldn’t pay off?! =D

  2. I watched that episode of Jeopardy and I missed a couple. Overall I think the contestants did very well and as you say DNA has now become mainstream.

  3. Roberta, well, you’d have to know that “mt” stood for mitochondria, and surely not everybody knows that! We who work with genetic genealogy nearly every day do, but we’re not representative of the population as a whole.

    I’ve been at this for nearly five years now, and sometimes I have lost the ability to talk to everyday people about this because I’ve had this in my head for so long.

  4. Well . . . but . . . ‘mitochondria’ is a plural noun (‘mitochondrial’ is the form we usually hear . . . an adjective form . . . ) . . . so it’s ‘mitochondrion’

  5. $5,600! I got them all except the first one. Of course, if I had been on Jeopardy I probably wouldn’t have answered any correctly as I don’t do well under pressure. 😊 DNA is popping up in TV shows and novels and is definitely a mainstream topic.

  6. Answered all correctly! But then I watched the Jeopardy Championship Series so I guess my answers had a little help 😁

  7. I watched that episode and got the correct answer for all questions! I think because I read just about everything Roberta writes!

  8. Would I have been correct if I had said “What is C, A, T,G??? I can’t remember initials very well, so I come up with my own ‘order’ by association. C, A,T, G as in Category G ! (Or did I just reassemble myself? hahaha. GREAT article!

  9. I saw that show also! Missed the $400 question but got the others! Yippeee! I didn’t realize I have learned so much about DNA from all the videos, blogs, lectures, and Facebook groups I have followed for the past few years.

  10. One of the big songs of 2019 was Truth Hurts by Lizzo. I love the play on words for the category and the first line of the song. I would love to know if her song created a bump in younger people testing last year?!

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