ASHG invites all members of the human genetics research community and beyond to celebrate DNA Day on April 25, from genetics professionals leading labs to students learning about Gregor Mendel’s pea pods for the first time. 2022 is a momentous year as it marks the 200th anniversary of Gregor Mendel’s birth. This year, ASHG’s DNA Day celebrations nod to his observations and conclusions that became fundamental principles of genetic inheritance and look to the future of the field and breakthroughs to come. “DNA Day provides all of us the opportunity to reflect upon both the foundations of the field, such as the discovery of the double helix in 1953, to breakthroughs, such as the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, to what’s coming in the near future when Essay Contest participants enter the lab and help lead and contribute to further advancements in genetics,” says Public Education & Awareness Committee member Joseph Shen, MD, PhD. “I always enjoy reviewing essays as a contest judge when we can read the extraordinary essays submitted by participants worldwide and am excitedly looking forward to this year’s celebrations.” Join our celebrations and happy DNA Day on April 25!
ASHG Essay Contest Winners’ Announcement
Mark your calendars: the big announcement of the 2022 winners and honorable mentions will be made at 12:00pm Eastern Time on Monday, April 25! Read the winning essays and see where in the world submissions come from on the DNA Day results page. The announcement will be made via email to members and judges and on the Society’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram channels. Catch up on the 2021 winning essays in the meantime!
Social Media Campaign
Leading up to the announcement of DNA Day Essay Contest winners, follow along on ASHG’s Twitter and Instagram channels for a guide through the incredible advancements in research which has led to treatments and therapies for Mendelian genetic disorders. Join us as we celebrate collaboration across the world to achieve these advancements.
Fact Sheet about Dominant and Recessive Genes
Learning never stops and ASHG wants to continue the conversation about inheritance. On DNA Day, the Society will share its latest fact sheet about the topic of dominant and recessive genes in relation to genetic genealogy. This resource provides content for teachers to continue the conversation in their classrooms, GENE Network members to share information with their communities, and science-interested public to expand their knowledge. Past Essay Contest handout topics include the benefits of population representation in genetic research, Direct-to-Consumer Ancestry Testing, and Huntington Disease.
ASHG members will host a free all-day online panel event on the Science Reddit page open to anyone. Panelists will discuss the foundations, current understandings, and treatment breakthroughs of Mendelian disorders and complex disease on one of the largest science communication forums in the world with over 20 million members.
TikTok #DNADayDance Challenge
ASHG is on TikTok and we want you to show us your double helix dance! Using the hashtag #DNADayDance, meet us on TikTok and share a video of your dance with us, be it an animation or live video. Either tag us (@geneticssociety) or use the hashtag in your video caption. Spread the hashtag to share the message with others!
Webinar: Translating Your Research for Discussions with Public Audiences
Human genetics and genomics drives discovery and new applications across all facets of research, medicine, and society. How do you discuss these advancements with your neighbors, community, or the general public? This webinar will provide experiences, lessons, and best practices from your peers to support ASHG members who want to begin or supplement discussions with the public to translate their research. Registration will open soon for this event hosted by PEAC.
Host a Lab Visit
Are you interested in hosting your own DNA Day celebration with your community? Health and safety regulations allowing, hosting a lab tour for local students or community members is a fun and interactive way to show the public what it looks like to be a lab scientist. PEAC member Arvind Kothandaraman will provide guidance for how you can host a group in their lab in an upcoming article. For additional insight, read about how ASHG member Fuki Hisama, MD hosted the 2019 Essay Contest winner and teacher at her University of Washington lab. And, join the GENE Network for more community opportunities like these!
ASHG celebrates the spark of curiosity that led Mendel to identify the fundamental principles of genetic inheritance and leads our members to drive discoveries. Happy DNA Day!