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2 June 2023

Celebrating National DNA Day

What’s it all about?

April 25th is DNA Day, a celebration of scientific achievements in genetics and molecular biology. National DNA Day is predominantly a US celebration, and is supported by events and activities across the country, but the international community is prominent in also recognising the importance of this key date, which is now receiving global exposure. 

On this prominent day we celebrate two major discoveries. Firstly, the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA in 1953 by James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin, and secondly, the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003. 

To give even more significance to the 1953 discovery, three of the researchers went on to receive the 1962 Nobel Prize for their research, which was originally published in the Nature journal. 

In April 2003, on the same date, 50 years later, scientists completed the Human Genome Project, an immense research effort to sequence and map all the genes that comprise the human genome. Since completion, the Human Genome Project has been highly influential in the advancement of many further scientific breakthroughs. This is because the information contained within our DNA is helping solve some of our most challenging global problems, including diagnosing rare diseases and developing new vaccines, through to supporting sustainable farming and environmental progress.

The global demand for DNA is continuing to rise. Most of today’s genetic medicines (mRNA, DNA vaccines, viral vectors) are dependent on DNA as either a critical starting material or API. Touchlight is leading DNA innovation and playing a prominent role in supporting advanced therapies through the development of a linear, double stranded, covalently closed DNA vector, called doggybone DNA (dbDNA™). This DNA is manufactured in a cell free process using enzymes and will increasingly play a key role in helping get medicines to patients faster. 

Whatever you are doing today, please think about how far our understanding of DNA has come and reflect on how important DNA will be in ensuring our future.