Here's a scarf woven from data representing the genome of talented sf writer and good guy Jay Lake, who died of cancer this week. Last summer, Jay's friends raised funds to sequence his genome in the hopes of finding a targeted cure. Astrid Bear used the data to weave the scarf, focusing on the 143 pairs of chromosome 18, which was the identified culprit in Jay's cancer. The scarf itself is a thing of beauty, and Jay loved it.
ImageIt turns out that the problematic gene is Chromosome 18, so Jay sent me the first three pages of the detailed readout for C18, which was 143 bases. By using 3 ends per base, this would make for a scarf with a nice width. I noticed that the color coding on the readout was different in one respect from the one I had been using; orange instead of black for guanine. Since the black had been standing out a bit too much, I decided to make that switch. Here’s the final sample, using orange, blue, green, and red, with black as the weft. Jay was visiting Seattle just after I finished it, and he enjoyed being able to see and hold the little piece of fabric. With a good result from the final sample, I plunged into winding the warp for the actual scarves.