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8 DNA Sculptures from Around the World

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vil.sandi

It's been more than 60 years since we learned about the double helix structure of DNA, the code inside living cells that controls the building blocks and functions -and even the length- of life. That shape is very important, but it's also pretty. Artists all over the world have taken that attractive structure and created artworks with it, as a tribute to science and as something wonderful to see.

1. England: Life

Photograph by Flickr user Neil Turner.

The International Centre for Life in Newcastle, UK, opened in 2000. Soon after, it was gifted with a sculpture of the DNA spiral designed by Charles Jencks. It was unveiled by James Watson, co-discoverer of the DNA double helix.

2. Singapore: The Helix Bridge

Photograph by Flickr user Wojtek Gurak.

The Helix Bridge in Singapore is a pedestrian bridge over the Singapore River connecting Marina Centre and Marina South. The supporting structure is a double helix, twisted the opposite way from DNA. However, it follows the design of DNA with colored lights inside. The lights are in the shape of the letters c partnered with g, and a partnered with t, to represent cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine, the components of DNA. The bridge opened to the public in 2010.

3. Ireland: What Is Life?

Landscape designer and sculptor Charles Jencks has designed several sculptures on the subject of DNA. His installation called What Is Life? opened just this past year at the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland in Dublin. It contains structures that represent DNA, RNA, and other proteins. The name comes from the 1943 book by Erwin Schrödinger that inspired James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins in their DNA studies. The installation of the work was timed for the 60th anniversary of Watson and Crick's announcement of the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953. The sculpture is explained here

4. Spain: Stained Glass DNA

Photograph by Flickr user vil.sandi.

This 15-meter tall steel and stained glass DNA sculpture graces the first floor of the Prince Felipe Science Museum in Valencia, Spain. See more pictures here.

5. China: Helix Sculpture

The Institute of Biophysics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing has a variety of theme sculptures. One of them represents the Institute's research in proteins, and therefore is mostly helical.

6. New Zealand: Maurice Wilkins Monument

Photograph by LawrieM.

This stone monument stands in Pongaroa, New Zealand, the birthplace of physicist and biologist Maurice Wilkins, who worked with Rosalind Franklin on the structure of DNA concurrently with Watson and Crick. The design incorporates the DNA helix while still evoking a South Pacific vibe.

7. Russia: Monument to Lab Rats

The Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk, Russia, installed a new sculpture last year as a monument to the unsung heroes of biology research: lab rats. Designed by artist Andrew Kharkevich, the sculpture portrays the rat as a scientist, knitting a strand of DNA. See more pictures here.

8. USA: DNA Climbing Structure

Photograph by Flickr user Magda Wojtyra.

The DNA sculpture at UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science was installed in 1992. Designed by Michael Jantzen, it may look like a bicycle rack from afar, but it is both an artwork and a jungle gym for children.

Photograph by Flickr user Colleen Proppe.

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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

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Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

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