Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Genetics Essay Contest

As anyone who ever wanders over to this blog anymore will know, I am not keeping it up well. The HPS Network is having a lot of trouble with our Website just now, however, so am going to try to post some of the many news stories we are doing that aren't getting out there here. Please know this is not meant to be shameless self blog promotion. I'm just trying to fill a temporary gap until things are working a bit better. 

I'm passing along this bit of news for anyone interested: 

Dear Educator,

Help bring DNA Day into the classroom by submitting your students’ essays to the American Society of Human Genetics’ DNA Day Essay Contest. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about essay ideas for the upcoming new year. Our submission site will open in early January, with submissions due March 11 at 5:00 pm U.S. Eastern Time.

This year, we’re asking students to identify an example of gene therapy, describe the disease or condition researchers are attempting to treat, and explain how the therapy might repair the underlying cause of the disease or condition.

2017 Question

In the early 1990s, gene therapy was hailed as a potential treatment or cure for many genetic diseases and conditions. Unfortunately, problems during clinical trials, including the death of a patient due to a fatal immune reaction, forced scientists to re-think their strategies. Recent advances in biology have made gene therapy more promising than ever and expanded the field beyond its original concept of providing an additional, functional copy of a malfunctioning gene to specific cells. Choose one modern example of gene therapy (since 2005), describe the disease or condition researchers are attempting to treat, and explain how the therapy/approach might repair the underlying cause of the disease or condition. 

Students can win up to $1,000 with a matching $1,000 lab equipment grant for their teacher! We will award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, as well as 10 honorable mentions. Each teacher is invited to submit up to six essays per class, for up to three classes. Please consider sharing this exciting opportunity with your colleagues in the language arts, as well as in the sciences. It is an excellent way to implement “writing across the curriculum!”

We hope you can build this essay into your teaching plans and look forward to reading your students’ insightful essays. Please email dnaday@ashg.org if you have any questions.

Good luck!

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