Celebrate DNA day April 25

The 53rd anniversary of the publication of the structure for DNA and the 3rd anniversary for the publication of the completion of the human genome sequencing is next Tuesday. Here are some interesting activities for the day, copied from the website for the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah. Don't miss the muscial activities at the end of the list!

National DNA Day

April 25, 2006

Find out about the discovery of the structure of DNA to the completion of sequencing the human genome from the following websites:

Highlights from Nature, the journal that published the 1953 research papers by Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins.

The National Human Genome Research Institute's information about National DNA Day

Learn the basics of DNA through online animations and multimedia presentations

Tour of the Basics and Build a DNA Model online at the Genetic Science Learning Center.

Visit DNAinteractive, an animated website funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and created by the Dolan DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Also, from the Dolan DNA Learning Center, learn about DNA From the Beginning, funded by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, and CSHL's Celebrating 50 Years of DNA and the J.D. Watson Archives.

Check out The New York Times Interactive Feature DNA: A Revolution at 50 (click on the grey square box with a colored double helix). Be sure to click on "The First Paper" to see interesting facts and perspectives on the original paper.

View Cracking the Code of Life, the PBS/NOVA Online video series broadcasted in 2001 (requires QuickTime or Real Player - see Technical Help on their pages).

Find out about DNA, another PBS series originally broadcast in 2003.

Explore Exploring our Molecular Selves, a multimedia online educational kit released in 2001 by the Human Genome Project.

Other Media Resources

Watch: The Race for the Double Helix, a very accurate film from the BBC about the scientists and events surrounding the discovery of DNA. Starring Jeff Goldblum, Tim Pigott-Smith and Juliette Stevenson. A 1986 film no longer produced - check your local video store or library.

Read: James Watson's book The Double Helix. The perfect commemorative book for birthdays, graduations, or other special occasions for your family member or friend who is a budding scientist!

Observe how the DNA double helix is portrayed in art and in culture. Read a review in the journal Nature by Martin Kemp, The Mona Lisa of modern science and click on "DNA and Culture" in The New York Times interactive feature DNA: A Revolution at 50.

Listen: Ever wonder how segments of DNA would sound like if its sequence was transposed into music? Several scientists-musicians-artists have done just that and composed some interesting pieces. Check out this random selection of websites, sample audio clips, or news articles about the sounds of DNA:

DNA Music Central (Henry Alan Hargrove)

Selected Samples of DNA Music (Peter Gena)

Genome Music (Todd Barton)

The Music of DNA: The Building Block of Life (Susan Alexjander)

Listen to your DNA from the BBC news (1998)

HUGO in sounds and other links (Schümperli, Frey, von Steiger)

Genetic Music: An Annotated Source List from Texas Wesleyan University

DNA Makes Sweet Music! from CBSnews.com (2003)

I hope you enjoy these activities--my thanks to the Genetic Science Learning Center.

Marie Godfrey, PhD

Genetizen's blog