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NHGRI Director Francis Collins and genomics experts from across the institute took questions from students, teachers and the general public on topics ranging from basic genomic research, to the genetic basis of disease, to ethical questions about genetic privacy. Andrea Kalfoglou, Ph. Anthony Antonellis, Ph.

Arjun Prasad, B. Barbara Fuller Brian Capell, M. Carla Easter, Ph. Christopher H. Wade, Ph. Dale Lea, R. Della Brown White, Ph. Faith Pangilinan, Ph. Flavia Facio, M. Gary Temple, M. Jean Jenkins, R. Jennifer Sloan, M. Joe McInerney, M. Julie Sapp, Sc. Kate Reed, M. Kris Wetterstrand, M. Mary Schueler, Ph. Pnina Laric, M. Sarah Harding, M. Vence Bonham, J. Vivian Ota Wang, Ph. Wendy Introne, M. What are the pros and cons of getting genetic tests? For example, a person who has a family history of early onset breast cancer may wish to have genetic testing to learn whether he or she has inherited a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene that greatly increases their risk for developing breast and other cancers so that they can take preventive actions.

When a person is considering having genetic testing, they can seek genetic counseling with certified genetic counselors, nurses and medical geneticists to learn about all of the reasons to have or not to have a genetic test. I am just testing to see if our students will be able to access this. Thank You! Good morning! We are all here ready to answer your questions! Lynn Wilson, Incarnate Word Academy.

How are proteins made? Depending on the gene, sometimes the mRNA may have to be modified and certain portions of the message RNA are removed or spliced. The ribosomes interact with the Transfer RNA or tRNA molecules that carry the amino acids to assemble the proteins by adding the individual amino acids and linking the amino acids each other. Once all the amino acids are added, we have a complete protein. What's your favorite DNA joke? Annie, Cape Elizabeth, ME. How does a baby get an extra copy of chromosome 21?

Most commonly, at the time of conception, there are two 21 chromosomes in either the egg or the sperm. This is a sporadic event. Another way occurs after conception when an error occurs in cell division creating a cell line with an extra chromosome This is called mosaic trisomy A third way is when one of the parents carries a chromosome rearrangement called a translocation that involves chromosome Lymiracle Hill, Hogdson Vo-Tech. How many possible genes are known? MEMS Middle per 1. What are your work surroundings like? Some people at the National Human Genome Research Institute work in labs, others work in offices, I've been spending quite a bit of time lately in classrooms.

The diversity of opportunities in a field like genetics makes the workplace a great place to be. Savannah P'Poole Lyon Co. Middle School, Kentucky.

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Do you get to spend time with your family at times, or are you alwasys being called out to work? Although there are times when things are very busy, I try to balance my work and family time. It is very important to balance both family and work.

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Do any current gene therapy treatments cure a genetic disorder, or do they only temporarily treat the person? If we are not able to cure a disorder with gene therapy now, are we close to achieving a cure through gene therapy? There are some gene therapies that are in the research phases, and as more is being learned about the genetic basis of diseases, there is hope that targeted gene therapy will be available in the not to distant future. Thomas Muntaner, St. Ignacious Prep. DNA Day falls every year on April 25 because it marks the anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project in and the description of the structure of the double helix by Watson and Crick in Mango Bristol.

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Although things get busy, I always try to make time for my family and friends. What's your favorite gene in a cell? There are so many that are pretty cool like the gene for eye color or the gene for hemoglobin. At this time, there are about 20, to choosde from so I can't say there is a shortage of cool ones. Is having twins a genetic trait? Having twins can be due to having a trait for multiple ovulation, or a trait for identical twins. Are scientists close to cloning a person? Scientists have successfully cloned a sheep, dog, and cat, but to our knowledge, no effort has been made to clone a human.

It would be technically very difficult and is quite improbable that it would happen any time soon.

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There are several cool ones like the one for eye color or the one for hemoglobin. There are more than 20, to choose which makes the choosing just one cool gene pretty hard. How much DNA do we have in our body? If you were to uncoil one strand of DNA from one of your cells, it would stretch 6 feet long! How soon will it be until we can alter the DNA of an unborn child in the womb? Chase Helschien Marisa Beck. Why are people different colors? These proteins are responsible for the various colors of people.

Katherine Casabar, from Westview High School. Many of these changes won't affect your phenotype, but some certainly will. There is a field of gene therapy that is attempting to determine how to correct genetic 'mistakes' but this field is still very preliminary.

How do you choose whose DNA to use for the human genome?

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DNA for the Genome project was collected from a pool of all of the samples, so it's actually unknown whose specific DNA was used. Katie and Kelsey. Can DNA repair itself?

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