25 April 2012

International DNA Day and the GET Conference

According to Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_day), April 25 has been declared DNA Day by several groups. It has been celebrated on other dates in April in other years. On 25 April 1953, Nature published the famous Watson and Crick article based on their work on DNA.1 And let us not forget the contributions of Wilkins, Stokes, Wilson,2 and Rosalind Franklin and Gosling.3 I never heard the name Rosalind Franklin when I was in biology class (decades ago when the women mentioned in history and science classes were few and far between), but I learned about her a few years ago on a PBS special about the discovery of the double helix shape of DNA.

And on DNA Day 2012 the GET Conference is being held - Genomes, Environments, Traits. Live webcasts can be seen at http://www.getconference.org/GET2012/webcast.html. Tweets about the session can be seen at http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23GET2012.

The information covered is not related only to genetic genealogy. It is important for us as genealogists to understand more than the bare bones we need to compare DNA marker values. Every genealogist who uses DNA, especially those offering DNA analysis to clients, needs to understand what is going on in the regulatory world, in medical uses of genetics, in the Personal Genome Project, and in many other areas where new discoveries are made every day.

We can't read only the articles on DNA in genealogy magazines. We have to know what is happening in other areas if we want to be taken seriously.

J. D. Watson and F. H. C. Crick, "Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid," Nature 171 (April 1953, 4356): 737–738; online archives, Nature.com (http://www.nature.com/nature/dna50/watsoncrick.pdf : accessed 25 April 2012).

M. H. F. Wilkins, A. R. Stokes, and H. R. Wilson "Molecular Structure of Deoxypentose Nucleic Acids," Nature 171 (April 1953): 738-740; online archives, Nature.com ( http://www.nature.com/nature/dna50/wilkins.pdf : accessed 25 April 2012).

Rosalind E. Franklin and R. G. Gosling, "Molecular Configuration in Sodium Thymonucleate," Nature 171 (April 1953): 740–741; online archives, Nature.com ( http://www.nature.com/nature/dna50/franklingosling.pdf : accessed 25 April 2012).

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

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