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2022 DNA Day Essay Contest Logo

Accessing your essays:


  1. Log in to the ASHG portal through the button on the left side of the screen labeled "Login with ASHG". Your username is the email address associated with your membership

  2. Select "My Reviewing Assignments" from the table on the left side of the screen

  3. Please read through each essay assigned to you and select either "Accept" or "Decline"
    • Accept means you judge this essay as fit to move on to Round 2, in which judges will read through the essays more thoroughly and score with a provided rubric.
    • Decline means you judge this essay as not fit to move on to Round 2. 

Round 1 judging ends on Wednesday, March 16 at 11:59 pm U.S. Eastern Time.

If you cannot remember your username or password, please contact dnaday@ashg.org.

Judging Tips

  • The goal of Round 1 is to eliminate essays that are clearly of lower quality
  • Accept/decline an essay based on your overall sense of how well a student grasps and explains the concepts addressed by the question, and by the overall quality of the writing
  • Essays were randomly assigned and may be above average or below average
  • There is no minimum or maximum number of essays that you must accept or decline

Essay Question:

The “Father of Genetics,” Gregor Mendel, was born 200 years ago in northern Moravia (now Czechia).  His experiments with pea plants led to observations and conclusions that became fundamental principles of genetic inheritance. These principles include: 1) Each organism has two versions (or alleles) of each gene; 2) One allele is inherited from the mother, and one allele is inherited from the father; 3) Alleles can be dominant or recessive; 4) Genes for different traits are inherited independently from each other. Because of Mendel’s contributions, traits and disorders that are caused by variation in one gene (For Example, Huntington’s disease, Cystic fibrosis) are called Mendelian traits or disorders. There are also complex traits and disorders (For Example, diabetes, hypertension) that are caused by variation in many genes and, often, environmental factors.

  1. How do Mendel’s discoveries help us understand Mendelian disorders?
  2. How does the study of Mendelian disorders help us understand complex diseases?

If you have any questions, please contact dnaday@ashg.org