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INTRODUCTION OF A RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING THE SEQUENCING OF THE HUMAN GENOME AS ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT SCIENTIFIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE PAST 100 YEARS AND EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THE...
(Extensions of Remarks - April 25, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E548-E549]
 INTRODUCTION OF A RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING THE SEQUENCING OF THE HUMAN 
GENOME AS ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT SCIENTIFIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE 
PAST 100 YEARS AND EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THE DESIGNATION OF APRIL 25, 
                          2013 AS ``DNA DAY''

                                 ______
                                 

                     HON. LOUISE McINTOSH SLAUGHTER

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, April 25, 2013

  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the 60th 
anniversary of James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick's discovery of 
the double-helical structure of DNA. Their discovery launched a field 
of inquiry that explained how DNA encoded biological information and 
how that information is duplicated and inherited. This field of study 
has led to untold scientific advances in the past 60 years.
  I also rise today to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the completion 
of the Human Genome Project. This month, ten years ago, an 
international consortium of scientists led by the National Human Genome 
Research Institute and the Department of Energy announced the 
successful sequencing of an entire human genome, the genetic blueprint 
that makes each of who we are.
  The past ten years have seen a revolution in biomedical research, 
sparked by the completion of the Human Genome Project. With the 
availability of a compendium of all our genes, scientists have been 
able to link diseases to the genes that cause them, learn about how 
those diseases progress, develop therapies to stop them, and ultimately 
improve

[[Page E549]]

the health and welfare of the American people. We now sit at the cusp 
of a new era in medicine, genomic medicine, where we can use a person's 
genetics to target therapies for their specific illness. Genomic 
medicine will allow us to give the right treatment to the right patient 
at the right time. These advances in healthcare would not have been 
possible without the Human Genome Project.
  Although genetic information can be enormously valuable to patients 
and their doctors, it also has the potential to be abused. In 1995, 
knowing that these scientific advances were coming and that people 
would have fears about how their personal information might be used, I 
introduced the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). GINA 
protects people from losing their health insurance or their job based 
simply upon their genetic makeup. More importantly, it alleviates 
people's fear of participating in research studies that benefit all of 
us through the advancement of medicine, because they know the results 
cannot be used to discriminate against them. Although it took us 14 
years to get GINA passed into law, every step of the battle was 
worthwhile, as evidenced by the tremendous progress medicine has made 
since the completion of the Human Genome Project.
  Not only did the Human Genome Project give us insights into human 
health, it also fueled two decades of remarkable economic growth. The 
past decade has seen great advancements in the technology necessary to 
decipher a genome. Sequencing the first human genome cost over $1 
billion dollars and took 6-8 years to complete. Today, it costs less 
than $5,000 and can be done in 2-3 days. These advances have been made 
possible because federal investment in research has been translated 
into commercial technology by U.S. entrepreneurs and companies. 
According to a recent study, each dollar of federal money that was 
invested in the Human Genome Project resulted in $141 of economic 
activity, resulting in more than $796 billion dollars of economic 
impact and the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs over the last 
two decades. These figures underscore the essential nature of federal 
research and development in driving U.S. innovation.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in taking this opportunity to 
designate April 25th as ``DNA Day'', when we honor the 10th anniversary 
of the completion of the Human Genome Project, the 60th anniversary of 
Watson and Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA, and all of the 
remarkable advancements our scientific community has made to the health 
of our nation's people.

                          ____________________




    

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