DNA Day, Discuss Among Yourselves

It’s DNA Day, a day to reflect on just how far we’ve come in genetic science – from the discovery of the double helix structure in 1953 to Helixdecoding the human genome 50 years later.

But it also offers an opportunity to look ahead at some of what the future may hold. The Precision Medicine Initiative hopes to enlist more than a million people to participate in genetic research that will lead to new and better treatments for disease.

In the week leading up to this year’s DNA Day, The National Institutes of Health hosted a provocative discussion on Reddit’s science forum called “Ask Me Anything.” Some of the most prominent geneticists in the United States were asked about everything from gene editing, to genetic discrimination, and cancer genetics. Even that short list of questions highlights both the breadth of impact of the science and the pace of new discovery in genetics.

23andMe_Logo_blog Twitter Discussion 23andMe is also participating in a chat on Twitter hosted @DNAday on April 25th from 11 am-to-noon EST. If you want to join that conversation or follow along use the hashtag #DNADay16 on Twitter.


In one exchange about how quickly the science has advanced, George Church, the esteemed professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, compared the breakthroughs in genetics to the dizzying changes we have seen since the creation of personal computers and the Internet.

“We had exponential growth in PCs and (the) Web, with too few expert professionals to counsel each new user, but the market responded with a variety of creative solutions,” Church said. “Genetics is poised to be even faster and bigger.”

Or to coin a phrase, “To Infinity and Beyond.” Happy DNA Day.


Below we included a graphic we created last year for DNA noting some of the milestones in genetics over the last six decades, including some of 23andMe’s accomplishments in the ten years. DNA Day Infographic