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DNA Day celebrates historic 1953 discovery of DNA’s double helix

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ottawa, ON

Today, Canadians celebrate DNA Day – the anniversary of the major scientific discovery of DNA’s double helix structure, published in Nature by James Watson and Francis Crick in April 1953. Other scientists, including Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, also contributed to this discovery.

The discovery – arguably one of the most important of the 20th century – answered a fundamental mystery about how living organisms pass genetic instructions from generation to generation, and eventually enabled later researchers to understand the genetic code.

DNA Day also marks the April 2003 completion of the Human Genome Project, an international scientific research project allowing us to read nature’s complete genetic blueprint for creating a human being.

Canadian genomics researchers are building on these foundational discoveries and their advances are helping to solve complex biological challenges across sectors as diverse as health, agriculture and agri-food, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, environment, energy and mining. The results are saving lives and combating disease, improving food safety and production to feed the world’s growing population, defending our natural resources against the effects of climate change, and enabling us to mitigate environmental damage from resource extraction.

Moreover, genomics is equipping Canadian businesses with cutting-edge science and technologies that are driving economic growth, improving competitiveness, increasing productivity and creating high-quality jobs in Canada.

Genome Canada is proud to work in collaboration with the federal government, Canada’s six regional Genome Centres, and many partners from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to drive cutting-edge genomics research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians now and into the future.

To learn more about Genome Canada and our funded research, visit  Also, explore a plethora of information and resources about genomics presented by the North American travelling exhibit Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code at