Happy DNA Day!

dnaday-logoMolecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid” was an article published by Francis Crick and James D. Watson in the scientific journal Nature (dated 25 April 1953). It was the first publication which described the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA.

An international research effort to sequence and map all of the genes, known as The Human Genome Project was completed in April 2003. The Human Genome Project gave us the ability, for the first time, to read nature’s complete genetic blueprint for building a human being.

Every year on the 25th of April, we recognize the discovery of DNA’s double helix and the completion of the Human Genome Project by celebrating DNA day! This annual celebration provides an opportunity for us to reflect on the latest advances in genomic research and explore what they mean in our lives.

These latest advances in genomic research are increasingly due to analysis and interpretation of large genomic datasets which are being generated at a dramatically increasing pace. The first fully automated sequencing machine, 370A, was launched by Applied Biosystems in 1987. The ABI sequencers went on to serve as the backbone of the Human Genome Project, which took some 13 years to complete and cost billions of dollars. Today, we are sequencing genomes in hours for a fraction of the cost on instruments that are getting smaller and smaller. How times have changed!

There is no doubt that the capacity to quickly and affordably sequence DNA has opened up worlds that were previously unknown, and provides the petabytes of data that researchers need to unlock the remaining mysteries of molecular biology. Analysis and interpretations of this treasure trove of data has greatly impacted our understanding of casual relationship between our genome and disease.  Here at QIAGEN Silicon Valley, we are working hard to help researchers and clinicians quickly analyze and accurately interpret the biological meaning in genomic data by using our web based applications.

Underlying all of our solutions is the Ingenuity Knowledge Base, a repository of expertly curated biological interactions and functional annotations created from millions of individually modeled relationships between proteins, genes, complexes, cells, tissues, drugs, and diseases. These modeled relationships, or Findings, contain rich details, links to the original article, and are reviewed for accuracy by Ph.D. scientists. The curated content in the Knowledge Base is structured into an Ontology that allows for contextual information, computation by the applications, and synonym resolution to ensure consistency across concepts.

Our customers access these rich data using our web-based applications and are applying them across a number of medically important areas that include pharmacogenomics, toxicogenomics, proteomics, drug target and biomarker discovery, metabolomics, personal genomics, rare disease, new treatment approaches and more. The discoveries they are making are being used to expand our understanding of disease and improve clinical decision-making.

While DNA Day recognizes a few of the high-profile milestones in genetics, the great advances that have brought us to where we are today are the work of thousands of scientists working around the clock in labs all over the world using hundreds of different tools and technologies.

At QIAGEN, we are committed to supporting researchers and clinicians on DNA Day, and every other day of the year, so that they can answer the questions they encounter and make the critical scientific discoveries that will underline the next high-profile milestones.

Happy DNA Day from QIAGEN’s Ingenuity Product Team!

How are you celebrating DNA Day?