Genesee to Create World's Longest Human DNA Chain, Educational Demonstrations, to Celebrate "DNA Day" on Thursday, April 24

Genesee Community College has declared Thursday, April 24 to be "DNA Day" at the college, and will celebrate with a number of educational demonstrations, participatory activities, and information about careers in biotechnology. This free event is open to the public, and will take place in the central Forum of Genesee's Batavia Campus from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. DNA birthday cake will also be provided free to participants.

Students and all visitors are invited to be a part of the world's longest human DNA chain-a model of DNA's chemical structure created with participants as the structural components. "We expect that our human DNA chain will be the longest one ever created, and we will be submitting this accomplishment to the Guinness Book of World Records," said Marirose Ethington, Associate Professor of Biology at Genesee Community College and the event organizer.

A contest will be held for students who present self-made models of DNA, with prizes in several categories, including, Most Scientifically Accurate, Best Use of Recyclable Materials, Most Edible, Longest, and more. Judges for the model contest will be Rafael Alicea-Maldonado, Professor of Chemistry; Christopher Heard, Instructor of Photography; and Kate Brown, a local artist and staff member at Genesee's Center for the Arts.

Other activities scheduled for DNA Day include a demonstration of bacterial DNA extraction, how DNA is used in crime scene investigations, information about genetic diseases, a make-your-own DNA jewelry craft table, a DNA trivia game, and more.

Visitors can speak with Genesee's Biology instructors about biotechnology careers, and how you can get started at Genesee Community College. Genesee has a transfer program in Math and Science that allows students to start at Genesee and then complete a bachelor's degree in one of many scientific disciplines at one of hundreds of Western New York or U.S. colleges.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the description of DNA structure, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has declared April 2003 National DNA month. During the entire month of April special events are occurring at colleges, universities, and museums across the United States. This year, NHGRI is also celebrating an historic event: the completion of the human genome sequence-the identification of all of the approximately 30,000 genes in human DNA. Scientists believe that knowledge about DNA variations among individuals will lead to revolutionary new ways to diagnose, treat, and someday prevent, the thousands of disorders that affect human beings.