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Annual DNA Day Essay Contest

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      ASHG is proud to support National DNA Day through the Annual DNA Day Essay Contest. DNA Day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of the double helix of DNA in 1953.

      This contest is open to students in grades 9-12 worldwide and asks students to examine, question, and reflect on important concepts in genetics. Essays are expected to be well-reasoned arguments that indicate a deep understanding of scientific concepts related to the essay question. They are evaluated by ASHG members through three rounds of scoring.

      The 2020 winners have been announced! Go to the results page to view the winners and their essays.

      2020 Question
      The 2021 question will be released in late summer/early fall of 2020.

      Ancestry testing is a form of direct-to-consumer genetic testing designed to inform customers about their genetic ancestry. There are generally three types of ancestry testing: Y chromosome testing, mitochondrial DNA testing, and autosomal DNA testing. If a person did all three ancestry tests, what types of information could they learn about their genetic ancestry and how does this genetic ancestry information compare and contrast with their cultural heritage (family traditions, etc.)?

      Important Dates
      Late Summer/Early Fall 2020: Question announced
      Early January 2021: Submission site opens
      Early March 2021: Submission site closes
      Friday, April 23, 2021: Winners and Honorable Mentions announced
      Sunday, April 25, 2021 : DNA Day
      1st Place Winner: $1,000 for student
      $1,000 genetics materials grant

      2nd Place Winner: $600 for student
      $600 genetics materials grant

      3rd Place Winner: $400 for student
      $400 genetics materials grant

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