April 25 is National DNA Day

It’s Part of Long Island History and Key to Your Future

In honor of the 5th anniversary of the congressional designation of April 25 as National DNA Day, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) invites Long Island to celebrate and take pride in our history and your future.  “DNA is not only part of our history as Long Islanders; it is the foundation for the future of personalized healthcare,” said Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory President Bruce Stillman, who is hosting special events on the CSHL campus and at the Dolan DNA Learning Center (DNALC).

On Wednesday, April 25, regional high schools are invited to the CSHL campus for guided walking tours of the facility. CSHL scientists will be the tour guides, providing very special insight to the genetics and molecular biology research that is being conducted today in the fields of cancer, neuroscience, and plant biology.

CSHL research puts Long Island at the forefront of biomedical research, making significant contributions to the local and regional economy. The medical advances that are possible as a result of the research done at CSHL are bringing us closer to more individualized and more effective diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer, autism, and Alzheimer’s. Understanding genetics will help people make more informed decisions about their own healthcare.

“Every day is DNA Day at CSHL’s DNA Learning Center!” exclaimed DNALC Executive Director David Micklos. The DNALC hosts a wide range of educational programs about genomics for elementary, middle, high school and college students and teachers. The DNALC trains teachers around the country and also offers specially developed adult education classes.

On Saturday, April 28, CSHL will host free, guided walking tours of the campus at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. (no reservations required). CSHL researchers will be on hand to guide the tours through the historic campus. The public is welcome at these times and should follow signs for tour parking from the entrance to the campus at one Bungtown Road in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

The DNALC is open to the public most Saturdays from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., with self-guided interactive scientific exhibits and showings of Long Island Discovery, a multimedia presentation of the history of Long Island. Show times on Saturday, April 28 are at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The DNALC is located at 334 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

Visit the Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center at 95 Harbor Road in Cold Spring Harbor, New York from April 24 through April 28, and you’ll find selected books about DNA and related topics. Pick up a specially created National DNA Day bookmark while you are there!

DNA Day is celebrated nationally, with a full month of educational events targeting high school students sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), a part of the National Institutes of Health.

One of the NHGRI programs is a live, moderated online chat with NHGRI researchers from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time on April 25. To access the NHGRI online chat and other informational and educational tools, visit www.genome.gov/DNAday. The NHGRI website boasts links to Cold Spring Harbor’s resident DNALC website. Of particular interest for young DNA sleuths are two programs that can be accessed from www.dnalc.org or individually: DNA From The Beginning at www.dnaftb.org and DNA Interactive at www.dnai.org.

Thanks to the Cold Spring Harbor Main Street Association, the village of Cold Spring Harbor will be decked out with celebratory banners all week!

CSHL is a private, non-profit research and education institution dedicated to exploring molecular biology and genetics in order to advance the understanding and ability to diagnose and treat cancers, neurological diseases, and other causes of human suffering.  For more information, visit www.cshl.edu.