DNA Day on April 25 commemorates completion of Human Genome Project


Dancers performed the double helix at the 2013 DNA Day event on Science Hill. (Photo by Branwyn Wagman)

The Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering (CBSE) at UC Santa Cruz is hosting an informative celebration of DNA Day, a national event on Friday, April 25, that commemorates the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953 and the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003.

The DNA Day event at UCSC will take place in the courtyard below the Science & Engineering Library on April 25th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Activities and displays will include extracting DNA from strawberries; free DNA temporary tattoos and "What's in your Genome" buttons; giant inflatable DNA models; information on genomics at UCSC; and an appearance by campus mascot Sammy the Slug. A DNA double helix dance at noon will offer a loose representation of the DNA molecule featuring 46 dancers traversing the courtyard. Following the dance will be a student research poster session, where researchers will be available to discuss their work and the history of genomics at UCSC.

April 25th was first recognized as DNA Day by the National Human Genome Research Institute, which continues to spread awareness about genomic research. UCSC researchers assembled the first working draft of the human genome sequence in 2000 and published it on the internet for public access. The UCSC team also contributed to the finished sequence, published in 2003, and provided access to it on the UCSC Genome Browser. The Genome Browser is a powerful tool used by biomedical researchers throughout the world to understand the information contained in the genome sequences of humans and other species.