Congratulations to our 2016 DNA Day Contest Winners!

Author: Amy Stark

Congratulations to our 2016 Essay Contest Winners! 

Winners were selected at the Elementary, Middle, and High School level and the number of winners at each level was based on the number of entries. We've included some excerpts from some of our outstanding winners

Elementary Level
Julia Webb
from Stanley Clark School for her essay on the breast cancer gene: "Normally, BRCA1 and BRCA2 help produce tumor suppressor proteins to help repair the DNA. When these genes are mutated, they increase the risk for breast cancer.....Breast cancer gene mutations were discovered when the two genes were found altered in many families with hereditary breast cancer. The search for other genes continues."

Middle School Level
Autumn Leap from Queen of Peace for an essay on FOXP2, the gene that was important in the development of language: "Little do most people realize conversation is a product of an evolved gene that separates the Homo sapiens, or humans, from other animals. FOXP2 plays a vital role in the development of language and connecting nerve cells to each other. Though, for such an important gene, it was only discovered a considerably short while ago. In 2001, Simon Fisher, Anthony Monaco, and colleagues at the University of Oxford discovered the humans’ communicative gene while testing DNA from a family of impaired speech and language skills."
Jonny Wang from Queen of Peace for an essay on the NPTN gene which is important in how brain cells communicate with possible implications for autism and other mental discorders.
Ivy Duncan from Rochester Middle School for an essay on how both genetics and the environment affect hair color.
Natsume Narasaki from Schmucker Middle School for an essay on skin color and how both genetics and the environement affect melanin.
Ava Glick from Christ the King for an essay on hair color and the role of genetics and the environment.
Hannah Kimbrough from Christ the King for her essay on FOXP2, "a gene that gives human the ability to vocalize and be able to understand complex languages."
Arrianna Szymczak from Christ the King for her essay on the FTO gene, "a gene found on chromosome 16 and is linked to obesity in humans"
Adam Peterson from Christ the King for his essay on the gene ABO, "this gene determins a person's blood type...Knowing this gene is important because if someone needed a blood transfusion, doctors would need to know which type of blood to infuse so a person's body could react properly to its new blood"

High School Level
Julianna Meyer from Marian High School for her essay on the Oxytocin Receptor gene that "plays a vital role in how the human brain responds to social activities"

Honorable Mention Elementary
Winners of a DNA puzzle
Mia Jordanich from Stanley Clark School
Ellie Schuck from Stanley Clark School
Meily Jacobs from Stanley Clark School
Honorable Mention Middle School
Winners of a DNA puzzle
Gretta Cohoon from Christ the King
Seth Strunk from Christ the King
Colleen Harley from Christ the King
Jared Rolinski from Christ the King