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Transcript: Hippocrates Dedication video

Dr. Tabak: Arbor Day is a tree planting holiday celebrated nationwide in our country in 1872 and April 25th is also DNA day when Watson, Crick, Wilson and Franklin and colleagues published their findings on the structure of DNA in 1953. So today we can combine those celebrations by planting a clone of the original tree of Hippocrates and by unveiling for the first time the gene sequence for the tree. We are in essence through science returning the tree of Hippocrates to our campus and also renewing, reinvigorating, and preserving the historic living monument for prosperity.

Dr. Lindberg: The tree of course was given by the ambassador of Greece in ’61, planted in ’62 and our institution began business so to speak in 1962 so the National Library of Medicine and the tree grew up together.

Dr. Constantine Stratakis: Under this famous tree in Kos, in the island of Kos where he mentored practitioners of his art throughout the known world at the time people of all religions, backgrounds and ethnicities this was the NIH of the 5th century.

His Excellency Christos P. Panagopoulos: Hippocrates used to gather his disciples around him and the shadow of a plane tree and this tree lives in this great institution today. It took American ingenuity and dedication to clone this in a way as I understand it and have this dedication again today.

Dr. Lipman: The DNA barcode of life project, it is a fascinating project for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of organisms, the goal is to have a physical specimen from that organism available in a museum for study and along with that a short DNA sequence from that organism and this is very important for conservation efforts and for basic research. Dr. Amy Driscoll from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History downtown took a tiny DNA sample from the original clone that we had from 50 years ago and had that sequenced so now we know where the Tree of Hippocrates is standing in the overall tree of life. And I think he would’ve been very excited about what DNA comparison and other how modern methods are being used to treat disease.