The human body is made of trillions of cells. And each of these cells contains in them our entire DNA or what biologists call a ‘genome’. This means that the cells in your muscles and your eyes contain the same DNA yet look and behave so differently. Why is that you ask?
Our DNA contains the complete instruction set for building and maintaining our bodies. The activity of these instructions or in scientific terms ‘genes’ determines a cell’s identity as a muscle cell or an eye cell. And normally, these cells only follow the instructions that are required for their role and respect the boundaries of their neighboring cells and multiply in numbers just enough to repair any loss of cells (such as a wound), and never more than required. An ideal citizen like all of you, this cell!
But sometimes, something terrible happens. Our genes can become damaged and their insturctions corrupted due to various factors (carcinogens such as cigarette smoke, UV radiation, random chance etc). This damage to our genes is known as a mutation and luckily, our bodies have several systems in place to recognise and repair this damage. However, if these systems fail to repair the damaged gene, the corrupted instructions can lead to disease, and in particular to cancer.
So, now you know why understanding our DNA is greatly important for our health, and why this event is called ‘My DNA, My Health’.
- Invisible Spectrum 2.0, building upon the success of the SFI Science Week 2020 event, aims to produce a deeper engagement with the ethnic minority community of Bangladeshis in Ireland.
- As an expansion from the previous event, we aim to re-engage the members of this community on the topic of cancer genetics (including references to DNA, cells, and cancer) under the banner “My DNA, My Health”.
- The ultimate ambition for Invisible Spectrum 2.0 is to develop a template for engaging minority communities, who often face distinct socio-cultural barriers, with complex research topics.
- The template would serve as the foundation for other research institutes, centers of excellence, patient advocacy groups, and science educators looking to engage communities in genetic-based health sciences.
- You can find details of our previous Invisible Spectrum event held last here by following this link Invisible Spectrum
To register for the event, please visit https://ucd-ie.zoom.us/meeting/register/u50rc-CurzkpE9V8LoMhMTQojGI6uolj7zas and fill in your details!
VIDEO CHALLENGE FOR CHILDREN
To involve all the members of the family in this event, we have also created a video challenge that the children can take part in! Please see the image below with the simple instructions provided.
Use the Hashtag #MyDNAMyHealth and we will take a look at the videos and will select the Top 3 submissions and display them on the day of the event! If you have queries regarding the video challenge, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.