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Celebrating DNA Day

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dna double helix

National DNA Day is celebrated every year on April 25. It commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, along with the discovery of DNA’s double helix structure in 1953, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).

A group of scientists—including James Watson, Rosalind Franklin, and Francis Crick—were the catalysts for DNA Day upon publication of their work based on the double helix in the journal Nature in 1953. But DNA Day wasn’t officially celebrated on April 25 until 2003, when scientists completed the Human Genome Project. On that day, both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives declared a one-time celebration of DNA Day. The NHGRI took it upon themselves to organize annual DNA Day celebrations in subsequent years.

National DNA Day

“The goal of National DNA Day is to offer students, teachers and the public an opportunity to learn about and celebrate the latest advances in genomic research and explore how those advances might impact their lives,” NHGRI reported. 

Various groups refer to this special day as International DNA Day and World DNA Day. The day is often celebrated by biologists, science teachers, students, and anyone interested in genetics. That includes Embark!

As a dog DNA company, this day is very important to us. DNA has taught us so much and will continue to educate us in the future. In fact, it has been said that the discovery of DNA was the most significant of the last century, according to ExploreDNA. It has helped scientific and medical progress tremendously, not to mention forensics, agriculture, and more.

Does dog DNA fit into all of this? Is it as important as human DNA? We say yes!

In a study published in the scientific journal Cell Reports in 2017, scientists at the National Institutes of Health analyzed the DNA of 1,346 dogs. From that, they created an evolutionary tree, allowing them to better understand how dog breeds are related. They identified genetic mutations that are connected to diseases that affect both dogs and humans. This discovery could be a game changer when it comes to medical research. Further, this is just one of many discoveries that dogs have led us to.

It’s important to note that a Boxer named Tasha provided the DNA for the first complete sequence of the dog genome in 2005.

Embark and dog DNA

Our Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Adam Boyko has completed extensive research on dogs and their DNA. His work can be seen in Nature and other scientific publications. Dr. Boyko traveled the world with his brother, Embark Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Boyko. The pair flew to over 40 countries on every inhabited continent to complete the research necessary to launch Embark and better the future of all dogs.

“Dogs are humankind’s oldest companion and have played a unique role in our lives for millennia,” Dr. Boyko said. “Now in the 21st century, we’re seeing how they are also uniquely suited to be our companion for groundbreaking discoveries about the genetics of behavior, aging, cancer and so much more.”

Celebrate DNA Day with us and find an event near you.

 

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