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ASHG hosts fourth annual DNA Day essay contest, supports genetics education efforts
Date:4/28/2009

re than 150 geneticists from ASHG and GSA volunteered to judge the students' essays on the basis of critical thinking, scientific accuracy, creativity and organization.

"Most genetics units in high school contain little or no information about complex traits which are those influenced by many different genes and the environment," said Michael Dougherty, Ph.D., Director of Education for ASHG. "This year's essay questions gave teachers a reason to talk about common diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and schizophrenia, which are the subject of much current research in genomics."

Today, in celebration of National DNA Day, ASHG and corporate sponsor Life Technologies Foundation announced the winners of the fourth annual DNA Day Essay Contest during the live online DNA Day 2009 Chatroom sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NHGRI/NIH). The students who submitted the top responses for each of the two essay contest questions were awarded $400; second place winners were awarded $250; and third place winners, $150. Teachers of the students who won first place prizes will each receive $2,000 to purchase new laboratory equipment for their science classrooms.

2009 NATIONAL DNA DAY ESSAY CONTEST STUDENT WINNERS:

High school students in grades 9-12 were invited to submit written essays on one of the following two questions. The first essay question asked students to explain the relationship between genes and traits. More specifically, students had to explain whether all inherited traits come in only two distinct varieties, or whether some traits have a more complex pattern of inheritance.

For the first essay question, ASHG and GSA judges awarded first place to Mehera Emrich, a senior from Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif. Emrich's essay explained the relationship between genes and traits, and she impressed the geneticist judges by contrasting mode
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Contact: Kristen Long
klong@ashg.org
301-634-7346
American Society of Human Genetics
Source:Eurekalert

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