D(NA)-Day

by Luigi Anzivino

April 25th was National DNA Day: created in order to commemorate the completion of the human genome project, it served as an excuse for the explainers to express their unabated love for DNA and everything sciency and geeky. Dawn had been so excited about it that she vowed off caffeine for the week preceding the event, lest the combination cause her to blow a gasket. In fact, on the day of, she showed up, to everybody’s delight, with custom made DNA t-shirts for everyone to wear. This led to a frenzy of customization, tomfoolery, and shenanigans. Case in point (click to biggify photos):

DNA buccaneers
DNA buccaneers: Akiko goes for a low-cut look, while Andre looks badass in cut sleeves.

Sometimes decisions required consultations and extended revisions. The whiteboard helped quite a bit to avoid some fashion faux pas. Here’s a glimpse into the creative process:

Consultation about t-shirt mod ideas
Andre lends his fashion-forward sensibility to Ryan.

Eventually, Ryan found his groove with a style meshing the down-to-earth flavor of Fred Flintstone with the joie de vivre of Richard Simmons:

A little bit Fred Flinstone, a little bit Richard Simmons
Fred Simmons?

Training was a hoot too! Karen taught us to make DNA jewelery:

DNA jewellery-making class
Moleculary accurate, too! Down to the last hydrogen bond.

All in all, it was good explainer mayhem. So a big thanks to Our Lady of DNA, Dawn, who had an extra special DNA extraction demo, squeezing out our beloved grey goo from samples as wild as cow’s eye blood and orange juice:

Dawn, our lady of DNA
Yep, that’s blood on the left! I believe it’s followed by spit (I mean, cheek cells…), wheat germ, and orange juice. Also, please admire the DNA earrings made in jewelery class.

Now all we need is a way to realize our scheme to establish a Galactic Paul Doherty Day…

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