Congratulations to the 2015 DNA Day Essay Contest prize recipients!

Author: Amy Stark

Please see a complete list of all DNA Day essay contest prize recipients here.

In honor of DNA Day, we wanted to share an excerpts from two of the outstanding essays selected:

From Mia Risser, a 4th grader at Stanley Clark School:
"You may think that all dolphins are the same, but they are not!  There are different types of Dolphins, for example the Bottlenose and Striped Dolphins.  I examined the differences and similarities between these two groups of amazing animals. 

Both the Bottlenose and Striped Dolphin are members of the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Mamalia and the Family Dolphinidae. However, they belong to different orders and genuses. The Bottlenose is in the Tursiops Gunus and Cetartiodactyla Order.  The Striped Dolphin is in the Stenella Genus and Cetacea Order.  The Genetic Diversity between these two different groups is observed in their Genus and Order.
 
These two dolphins travel in different numbers.  Bottlenose Dolphins travel in numbers of 10-30. Striped Dolphins travel in groups of close to 1,000!  Bottlenose Dolphins are the most common and well known.  They are popular in aquatic shows.  Striped Dolphins are also acrobatic, but are not as recognized.  Both types of Dolphins use echolocation as a means for communication, and both work in groups to feed on schools of fish and to defend themselves from predators."
 
From Brooke Thornburg, a 6th grader at Holy Family Grade School:
"Did you know that temperatures has an effect on genes? This is important because global warming could have a great effect on us and other organisms. Most of us know about global warming and how the earth's temperature is rising, but not many people think right away about how it will affect organisms’ genes. Some animals have genes that causes them to reproduce earlier than others in their species. 
 
For example, the Canadian squirrel and the European blackcap bird have genes that causes them to have earlier breeding than other animals. At the time that these animals would reproduce before global warming, the temperature would be cool, but now the temperature has become warmer at the time of their reproduction giving their offspring a higher chance of survival. They have a higher chance of survival by having their offspring before other animals because they have less competition for food and resources. This is so because the squirrel, after giving birth, has more time to gather food and have enough to survive through winter and the next reproduction." 
 
Please join us in congratulating these impressive essay writers! Happy DNA Day!