Why learn about genetics?

The field of genetics is moving quickly forward.  Watch this Ted Talk, and find out the amazing medical advancements that are already happening and see what else is in store.

National DNA Day is a chance for you to learn more about genetics and genomics. It happens every year in April. It celebrates the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003.

Why Does Genetics Matter for Me?

Genetics helps explain a lot of things, like what makes you unique, why you look like other members of your family, and why some diseases run in your family.

Taking time to learn about genetics can help you understand your own health and make healthy choices. Genes that do not work correctly can cause problems. A group of rare diseases are caused when a single gene stops working normally. Many more common diseases come from multiple genes that do not work correctly and the combination of these genes with the environment, such as your lifestyle and habits.

Learning about your family health history can provide a lot of useful information. You may notice that a certain disease is prevalent in your family, and this pattern may point to genes as the cause. This information can help you learn about health risks in your family, like high blood pressure or obesity. When you share this information with your healthcare providers, they can help you make choices that will keep you and your family healthy. The more you know, the easier it is to make the right decisions.

Want to teach genetics in the glassroom? Try our collected teaching tools!