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We have a record submission of over 700 essays this year. Essays were submitted from 45 states in the U.S., Canada, Colombia, India, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The judges enjoyed reading the essays and see what the younger generation thinks about genetics.

Congratulations to the 2011 winners and thank you all for participating. Happy DNA Day!

Question 1:

In 2010, a major discovery in genetics research found that the DNA of some modern humans contains small amounts of Neanderthal DNA. Briefly explain this finding and discuss its relevance to human ancestry and evolution.


 

Josephine Benson

 

Grade 10 ($1,000)

 

Teacher:
Hans Glandorff


Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green, OH


Press Release

 

Nathan Swetlitz

 

Grade 10 ($600)

 

Teacher:
Nicholas DiGiovanni


Naperville Central High School, Naperville, IL


Press Release

 

Michael Zhang

 

Grade 10 ($400)

 

Teacher:
Maria Zeitlin Trinkle


Smithtown High School East, St. James, NY


Press Release


Honorable Mentions

Sai Gourisankar
R.L. Paschal High School, Forts Worth, TX 
Teacher: Wendy Yanney
Abhinav Goyal
Schools for Science and Math at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
Teacher: Angela Eeds
Aditi Kulkarni
St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, MN
Teacher: Tina Barsky
Jesse Menville
Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, NJ
Teacher: Michael Liva
Hunter Peterson
Ames High School, Ames, IA
Teacher: Craig Walter
Meera Ramakrishnan
The Winsor School, Boston, MA
Teacher: Tone Rawlings
Marina Shayevich
Hunterdon Central Regional High School, Flemington, NJ
Teacher: Linda Strauss
Pavel Vlasov
Winston Churchill High School, Potomac, MD
Teacher: Clinton Brown
Eric Yi
Thomas S. Wootton High School, Rockville, MD
Teacher: Rebecca Firoved

Question 2:

A number of companies offer genetic testing directly to consumers, bypassing the involvement of physicians and genetic counselors. Discuss whether you think this is a good idea or not. You might focus on medical, ethical, legal, or social dimensions of this issue.

 

Heba Bhat

 

Grade 10 ($1,000)

 

Teacher:
Hans Glandorff


Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green, OH


Press Release

 

Julia Kroll

 

Grade 10 ($600)

 

Teacher:
Nicholas DiGiovanni


Naperville Central High School, Naperville, IL


Press Release

 

Julianna Hsing

 

Grade 10 ($400)

 

Teacher:
Maria Zeitlin Trinkle


Smithtown High School East, St. James, NY


Press Release


Honorable Mentions

Maggie Feith
Dyersburg High School, Dyersburg, TN
Teacher: Deborah Gatlin
Helena Jankowski
Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center, Battle Creek, MI
Teacher: Mary Lindow
Peter Luu
Poolesville High School, Poolesville, MD
Teacher: Patricia Miller
Nicole Park
Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, Oklahoma City, OK
Teacher: Brent Richards
Mark Pesto
Bishop McCort Catholic High School, Johnstown, PA
Teacher: Jennifer Miller
Andy Rodgers
James Madison Memorial High School, Madison, WI
Teacher: Cindy Kellor
Ellen Schneider
DeForest High School, DeForest, WI
Teacher: Rebecca McDermid
Emily Shea
Smithtown High School East, St. James, NY
Teacher: Maria Trinkle 
Allen Zhao
Hebron High School, Carrollton, TX
Teacher: Patricia Ehsani

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About the DNA Day Essay Contest

The contest aims to challenge students to examine, question, and reflect on the important concepts of genetics. Essays are expected to contain substantive, well-reasoned arguments indicative of a depth of understanding of the concepts related to the essay questions.

Essays are read and scored by at least two independent judges. A 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner are chosen for each question.

Questions/Comments: Contact dnaday@ashg.org