Kids growing up in the Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome or albinism communities have had a little more exposure to genetics than the average kids. I'm passing this along in hopes some of you will feel inspired to enter this contest.
The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) invites you to participate in the 5th Annual DNA Day Essay Contest! The contest is open to students in grades 9-12.
The contest aims to challenge students to examine, question, and reflect on the important concepts of genetics. Essays are expected to contain substantive, well-reasoned arguments indicative of a depth of understanding of the concepts related to the essay questions.
Essays are read and scored by at least two independent judges. A 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner are chosen for each question.
1st Place Winner: $400 + teacher receives a $2,000 grant for laboratory genetics equipment.
2nd Place Winner: $250
3rd Place Winner: $150
This year you have two question options. Whichever you choose, remember to support your argument with citations from science articles, books, newspapers, etc. Take advantage of research published by experts, which is more reliable than open Web sources, blogs, or other references from people who lack specialized knowledge.
Option 1 In 2010, a major discovery in genetics research found that the DNA of some modern humans contains small amounts of Neanderthal DNA. Briefly explain this finding and discuss its relevance to human ancestry and evolution.
Option 2 A number of companies offer genetic testing directly to consumers, bypassing the involvement of physicians and genetic counselors. Discuss whether you think this is a good idea or not. You might focus on medical, ethical, legal, or social dimensions of this issue.
Submission Deadline: March 7, 2011. The submission site will be available in January 2011.
To learn more or to read the contest rules, go to: http://www.ashg.org/education/dnadaycontest.shtml