- Introduction: Annual DNA Day Essay Contest is hosted by the American Society of Human Genetics, in support of National DNA Day. DNA Day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of the double helix of DNA in 1953. In celebration of DNA Day, the American Society of Human Genetics hosts Annual DNA Day Essay Contest
- 2022 Question: The “Father of Genetics,” Gregor Mendel, was born 200 years ago in northern Moravia (now Czechia). His experiments with pea plants led to observations and conclusions that became fundamental principles of genetic inheritance. These principles include: 1) Each organism has two versions (or alleles) of each gene; 2) One allele is inherited from the mother, and one allele is inherited from the father; 3) Alleles can be dominant or recessive; 4) Genes for different traits are inherited independently from each other. Because of Mendel’s contributions, traits and disorders that are caused by variation in one gene (For Example, Huntington’s disease, Cystic fibrosis) are called Mendelian traits or disorders. There are also complex traits and disorders (For Example, diabetes, hypertension) that are caused by variation in many genes and, often, environmental factors.
Question 1: How do Mendel’s discoveries help us understand Mendelian disorders?
Question 2: How does the study of Mendelian disorders help us understand complex diseases?
- Submission Rule: Essays must be in English and no more than 750 words. Word count includes in-text citations, but not reference lists. Essays are expected to be well-reasoned arguments that indicate a deep understanding of scientific concepts related to the essay question.