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NHM Health Focus: DNA Day

DNA Discovery: Selected Events

1865 - Mendel's Laws of Heredity presented.

1868 - Miescher isolated "Nuclein", a compound that includes nucleic acid, from pus cells isolated.

1905-1908 - Bateson and Punnett showed that genes modify action of other genes.

1911 - Morgan showed genes to be units of inheritance.

1926 - Morgan published Theory of the Gene .

1939 - Belozersky began work showing DNA and RNA are always present in cells.

1941 - Beadle and Tatum discovered gene function.

1944 - McClintock found genes can be transposed from one chromosome position to another.

1953 - Watson and Crick proposed double-stranded, helical, complementary, anti-parallel model for DNA.

1966 - Nirenberg, Mathaei, and Ochoa demonstrated that sequence of three nucleotide bases (a codon) determines each of 20 amino acids.

1973 - First human-gene mapping conference held.

1990 - Human Genome Project launched.

2000 - Working draft of human genome sequence completed.

2003 - Sequencing of the human genome completed

2003 - Celebrated 50 years of DNA's double helix.

Source: AE@NHM Biotech Chronicles

April 2006: We invite you and your students to join in the celebration of the second annual National DNA Day. The National DNA Day observance began last year to commemorate the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of DNA’s double helix, over 50 years ago.

The National Human Genome Research Institute, in cooperation with the American Society of Human Genetics and the Genetic Alliance, has many free resources available that will help you inspire the next generation of scientists and health professionals who will use the human genome sequence to benefit human health.

Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum has more than a thousand pages to help teach and learn about DNA. Those listed below are among the all time favorites for background information and innovative teaching and learning ideas: