What is National DNA Day?

Join the Coriell Institute for Medical Research and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in celebrating National DNA Day on April 25 this year. National DNA day is an annual event commemorating the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA in 1953. Find more events and activities on the National DNA Day Website

National DNA Day in the News: "Scientists Celebrate 'DNA Day' in Camden"

Coriell Science Fair

This year, Coriell celebrated National DNA Day on March 18 with the Coriell Institute Science Fair. Coriell has hosted the Science Fair for more than 30 years. It is an opportunity for students from the area in grades 6 to 12 to share their passion for science by presenting exceptional projects. For more information about this event click here

Strawberry DNA Extraction 

The Coriell staff supported and participated in National DNA Day 2019  by providing a fun DNA extraction from strawberries activity for students to learn and enjoy.

DNA Fun Facts

1. DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is a chemical compound that contains the necessary instructions for the structure and function of living organisms. DNA is made up of 4 building blocks called bases. These bases are represented by the letters A, C, G, and T. The order of these bases within our genetic code gives our body the instructions to help us grow, develop and function.1,2

2. If you could uncoil all of the DNA in your body and lay it end to end it would measure 10 billion miles - the distance from Earth to Pluto and back!3

3. We are more alike than you may think! All humans are 99.9 % identical in their genetic makeup. The complete set of an organism’s genetic makeup is called its genome.4

4. DNA has the potential to store much more digital data than your cell phone! An ounce of DNA could fit on a penny, store 300,000 Terabytes (300 million Gigabytes) of memory and be accessible for up to a million years.5

What is Genomics?

Genomics is the study of the complete set of a person’s genes (or genetic information). It can also describe the study of the interaction of these genes with each other and with environmental factors. Scientists who study genomics also investigate the role genes play in causing diseases such as cancer and diabetes to develop new therapies and treatments to combat these diseases.

Personalized Medicine

Personalized Medicine utilizes the science of genomics to provide each individual with specific treatments that are most compatible for their genetic makeup.

Coriell’s Contribution

In collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), Coriell houses genetic material that has been used for many  Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS). These studies examine large numbers of genomes for significant similarities in genetic sequence that may lead to inheritance of disease. The cell lines and DNA samples distributed by the NHGRI Repository at Coriell were collected for the 1000 Genomes and International HapMap Projects. The goal of these projects was to collect biomaterials from individuals from multiple populations throughout the world. By sequencing these individuals’ genomes, scientists have been able to learn more about the function of specific genes in the human genome. These discoveries have the potential to aid in the development of new therapies and treatments as part of the personalized medicine initiative.


1.  Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Fact Sheet. (n.d.). Retrieved March 02, 2016, from http://www.genome.gov/25520880 

2. Amazing DNA Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2016, from http://www.sciencecentres.org.uk/projects/handsondna/4.8 - Amazing facts and quiz questions.pdf 

3. Weir, K. (n.d.). April 2016. Retrieved March 02, 2016, from http://discovermagazine.com/2011/apr/20-things-you-didnt-know-about-dna 

4. FAQ About Genetic and Genomic Science. (n.d.). Retrieved March 02, 2016, from http://www.genome.gov/19016904 

5. Connor, S. (n.d.). Single DNA molecule could store information for a million years following scientific breakthrough. Retrieved March 02, 2016, from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/single-dna-molecule-could-store-information-for-a-million-years-following-scientific-breakthrough-10459560.html