Author Archive

1953 and onwards….the creation so far

March 4, 2010

It isn’t finished, but here’s a sneak preview of how we see genetics post 1953.  Watson and Crick’s discovery is still being created, but the purple and red rectangles represent the cracking of the genetic code, recombinant DNA techonology, and DNA sequencing.  Five yellow and gold pom poms are the five Nobel prizes won in this era.  After this, in purple is genetic engineering, with cloning as a side branch; dark red is molecular and clinical genetics; lighter red is genomics; green is applied genetics such as DNA fingerprinting, and barcoding.  Each field is illustrated with its key discoveries.

We’re going to leave our knitting needles at the base of each field: genetics isn’t finished, so we’re not casting off…


1953 and onwards…the plan

March 4, 2010

Watson and Crick won the race to discover the structure of DNA in 1953.  After this, three other discoveries were essential to the development of genetics into the fields we recognise today.  Crick, Nirenberg and others managed to crack the genetic code in 1961, after 8 trying years.  In 1972 recombinant DNA technology was born, and in 1977 Gilbert and Sanger devised techniques for sequencing DNA.  Following this,  genetics research expanded rapidly, and different fields began to be identifiable.  The flared shape of each of the four fields represented here shows their growth.  Industry weaves its way across all fields.

Cast-on Clarissa finally CASTS ON!

February 17, 2010

Yesterday I produced my first piece of actual knitting!

I have a bit of catching up to do to be able to create masterpieces like those of Needle-fingered Sue and Drop-stitch Dorothy…better get moving….I’m starting with genomics – in red.

The influence of Industry…it’s pink and fluffy??

February 17, 2010

I found a new tool to aid my one handed knitting attempts!  Her names is Knitting Nancy.  She was found lurking in my parents’ house.  Using the four staples that protrude from her head (no wonder she looks fed up) you can create a long piece of what’s called French Knitting.  It looks a bit like a long worm – I can’t think how else to describe it!

We decided to use this pink fluffy ‘wool’ to represent Industry.  The ‘wool’ is synthetic, which we thought apt, and somewhat alien in appearance.  Our Industrial worm will weave its way into the various fields of genetics that emerged after the genetic code had been cracked, and DNA sequencing had been made possible.

one handed efforts!

February 10, 2010

At last I have managed to contribute something to our growing creation! Hannah very kindly showed me how to finger knit.  This more rudimentary form of knitting will be used to represent Walther Flemming’s discovery of material in the nucleus that he called chromatin.   What he saw was later identified as chromosomes, meaning coloured bodies.  As needle-fingered Sue said, I’m using purple wool: this was the colour of the dye he used.  Rudimentary knitting is appropriate because Flemming failed to make the connection between his work genetic inheritance because he was unaware of the work done by Mendel.

The next challenge for me is crochet, which I’m reliably informed I can do one handed!  This is a different technique to knitting, although it uses the same materials, so we’ll have to think carefully about how we can include it in our creation.

Fall at the first hurdle…

February 3, 2010

The day after we initiated our grand genetiknits plan, disaster struck…
I broke my wrist playing football. I’m reliably informed by my friends in the knitting world that one handed knitting isn’t going to happen, but, finger knitting might be possible. Perhaps there’s a chance I can add to the piece with my cast on after all?

Yesterday Drop-stitch Dorothy knitted her first few rows, taught by Needle fingered Sue. Impressive progress has already been made.
Meanwhile I’m planning what should be included in our section representing genomics and human/clinical genetics.