Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The DNA Project

Aunt Melanie here— Taylor's brothers, Spencer and Sammy, came over to my house for dinner tonight along with my parents. We put up our Christmas tree (tree only— no lights or ornaments yet) and ate Take-out from Oh Boy's BBQ under the flickering light in my dining room (I've got to get that dimmer fixed). Anyway, before dinner while laying on the couch watching ESPN, eating the last of a box of Cheez-its and gulping down a bottle of Arnold Palmer Iced Tea, Spencer asked me if I could help him make a DNA model for his Science class. I said, "Sure! When's it due?" His response without taking his eyes off the TV, "Tomorrow."  
Well lucky for him, I love a spontaneous craft project! I swept Spencer out to my studio and immediately put him to work (but not before we turned on ESPN). Who'd a thought Spencer would have a knack for string art? The boy's a natural! He just needed a little guidance and he was stringing away in no time. He said he felt like he was a Dentist flossing teeth.
The finished piece— Magnifico!
Next he'll be knitting sweaters!
Just in case you want to make your own String Art DNA strand... 
Materials used:
  • Piece of Cork (we covered it with felt because the cork had a big gash in it.)
  • Stainless Steel straight pins 
  • Embroidery Thread in multiple colors
  • Duct Tape to frame the work of art (optional)

And for those of you who think this work of art looks like a Roller Coaster, here's a simple definition of DNA: 
DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic acid: an extremely long macromolecule that is the main component of chromosomes and is the material that transfers genetic characteristics in all life forms, constructed of two nucleotide strands coiled around each other in a ladder-like arrangement with the sidepieces composed of alternating phosphate and deoxyribose units and the rungs composed of the purine and pyrimidine bases adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine: the genetic information of DNA is encoded in the sequence of the bases and is transcribed as the strands unwind and replicate. 
For more basic info you can check out DNA for Dummies
And just in case you were wondering...
What causes Ewing Sarcoma? Exactly what triggers Ewing sarcoma is not known. But we do know that cancer cells in Ewing Sarcoma almost always have a specific chromosomal abnormality causing normal cells to grow out of control. It is important to know that this chromosomal abnormality is not something a child inherits; it seems to be an "accident" that occurs in a cell sometime after birth. Often, the sarcoma cells are tested for this particular chromosomal abnormality, providing a tool that confirms the diagnosis of Ewing sarcoma. (source: Comer Children's Hospital, The University of Chicago)
Ok, I'm gonna go brush, floss and hit the hay. Good night everybody!
Aunt Melanie


  1. I like this! I see what you were saying before when we were discussing my similar project.

  2. GREAT JOB, Spencer and Aunt Melanie. I loved Spencer's response as to when his project was due. I believe I have heard that one before here in this house. Who knows next Christmas he may be knitting you all sweaters. ha ha
    I hope he gets an A.

  3. I think Spencer should be calling you Saint Melanie! Project looks good.

  4. WOW!!! I'm impressed with the DNA project!! Great job Spencer and Aunt Melanie!!
    Melanie, thank you for all the updates. We have been praying for Taylor and the Becorest Family! We will continue to equip Taylor with the greatest armor, and that is the power of prayer and the delivery of God's Promise!!!

    God Bless!!!

  5. Never knew DNA could look so good. Hope you understand what it is cause I'm struggling!