It’s 4/20, and you know exactly what that means: It’s National DNA Day! (What, were you expecting something else?)
Yep — this is the official day to commemorate the 1953 publishing of the first scientific paper on the double-helix structure of DNA, which was famously co-authored by James Watson and Francis Crick (with the sometimes overlooked contributions of others.)
Anyway, to celebrate, educational non-profit powerhouse Khan Academy has announced a partnership with personal genetics testing company 23andMe to “promote the importance of genetics education.” Specifically, this means that Khan Academy’s website now has educational videos produced by 23AndMe on topics such as Genetics 101.
It seems like a match made in heaven of sorts, since both Khan Academy and 23andMe are services that have become favorites in similar kinds of geek circles in recent years. I’m personally a big fan of both — Khan Academy videos have helped me brush up on algebra and calculus, and I’ve basically bought 23andMe kits for my whole family (and have been known to gush about the service to anyone who will listen.) Now when people ask me what’s so cool about genetic testing, I can send them a link to a Khan Academy video! Nice.
For your viewing pleasure, embedded below is the first of Khan Academy and 23andMe’s four-part video series on Genetics 101. It starts out with the revelation that your body is made up of 50 trillion cells — a far out fact that will be sure to fascinate all the DNA Day revelers out there.
Khan Academy is an educational non-profit focused on providing high-quality education for everyone. They produce a collection of free online micro lectures on a variety of different subjects, including mathematics, history, computer science, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and economics. Khan Academy also incorporates game mechanics into their system by awarding students with badges for reaching certain skill levels. Khan Academy was founded in 2006 by Salman Khan.
A startup founded by Anne Wojcicki, the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, 23andMe has plans to make the human genome searchable. Brin, along with Google, gave 23andMe $3.9 million as part of a series A in May of 2007. The company was named after the number of chromosome pairs in humans. They aim to help people understand what their genes mean by indexing them and highlighting significant findings. 23andMe allows its clients/users to study their ancestry, genealogy, and inherited...