Artist Beverly St. Clair uses quilts to encode genetic information: it's beautiful and comfy!
My idea for genome quilts grew from the juxtaposition of two experiences at Wesleyan University in November 2001. First I viewed an exhibit of work by Anni Albers, an artist I have admired for many years. The show included her serigraphs of triangles arranged in a grid. I was struck by their similarity to quilt patterns. The next day I attended a lecture about the Human Genome Project and was impressed by the beautiful shapes of the proteins illustrated and the interesting patterns made by the microarrays. I realized that I could use a simple quilt block to represent each of the four bases in DNA: cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine. A square bisected into a light and dark triangle is rotated in four orientations to resemble the letters C, G, A, and T. These blocks are placed in sequences determined by the base sequence, so one can read the genetic code by looking at the quilt. The color and fabric choices influence the overall design. The quilts are visually pleasing, with their strong colors and seemingly traditional design, but they hide and reveal an entirely other construct of information.
Scientists discovered this new species of “glass frog” in Ecuador’s Amazon lowlands. Hyalinobatrachium yaku’s belly is so transparent that you can clearly see its kidneys, bladder, and beating heart. From Science News: Yaku means “water” in Kichwa, a language spoken in Ecuador and parts of Peru where H. yaku may also live. Glass frogs, like […]
Jennifer Raff — a bioanthropologist and geneticist who researches and teaches at U Kansas and U Texas — provides some excellent advice and context on how to read a scientific paper, from figuring out which papers and journals are worthy of your attention to understanding the paper in its wider context in the relevant field.
Apple released this lovely new commercial featuring Carl Sagan reading from his magnificent 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, now available as an audiobook. This surprising partnership spurred Adweek to interview my friend Ann Druyan, Sagan’s wife, collaborator, and creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, about being […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]