How do you explain DNA to people who are less than interested? Make it fun, of course. Jun Axup, a biochemistry student, has made a DNA plush toy.
The hand-sized plush dolls look more like Saturday morning cartoon characters than anything Axup might encounter under a microscope while working on new cancer drugs.
The dolls are shaped like the molecular structures they depict, with letters indicating the locations of compositional hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen atoms. Their colors â€” red, green, blue and black â€” match the fluorescent stains used to color the molecules during sequencing.
Magnets embedded at strategic locations allow the dolls to link up at the precise spots where the molecules naturally bind, and smiling faces in their centers give them an anthropomorphic quality.
â€œThey are very soft and squishy,â€ said Axup, 24. â€œJust like stuffed animals, thereâ€™s an appeal for wanting to touch them.â€
Kickstarter video after the cut.
Photo from Biochemies
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