DNA day is celebrated on the 25th of April every year to commemorate the discovery of DNA structure and the completion of the Human Genome Project. The DNA day celebration started in 2003, the same year when the Human Genome Project was completed and also the completion of 50 years after the discovery of the structure. This day was created under the congressional resolution to remember two of the greatest scientific contributions till date.
On April 25, 1953, James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick published the double-helix structure of DNA in the journal called 'Nature'. Many other scientists have contributed to the development of the model, including Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, who shared the X-ray crystallography data of DNA. For their notable work, Watson, Crick, and Wilkins, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in the year 1962.
The identification of the DNA structure was in no doubt, a major turning point in the field of genetics. The model helps in breaking through the various unsolved queries, as to how the genetic information is stored, copied, or passed on to the future generations. With the knowledge of the chemical structure, it became possible to understand genetic disorders that were present since a long time.
Another milestone in studying genetics is the 'Human Genome Project' (HGP), which was taken up as an international research effort in order to map the entire human genome. The HGP was coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. Scientists from all over the world contributed to the HGP, which continued for 13 years and completed on April 25, 2003.
The main objectives behind the project was to identify the human genomic content (20,000-25,000 genes), determine the sequences of base pairs (about 3 billion) of the human DNA, and store the information in databases. The HGP also aimed to improve the tools used for data analysis and transfer the updated technologies to the private sectors for greater development in human genomics.
Today's advancement in the field of science may not have been possible without these two path breaking events. Every year, on the DNA day, several competitions, presentations, and other activities related to human genetics, are conducted in order to promote and share knowledge among the people. In fact, this day is a great opportunity for students, teachers, researchers, and even the public, to get a glimpse on the current events going on in the field of genetics.
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) hosts the DNA day chat room, to answer the queries related to present genomic researches. Let's look forward to finding more information about the ongoing DNA-based research, biomedical studies and human genomics, so that together we will succeed in overcoming the major issues of mankind for the betterment of the society as a whole.