Below is one of the best videos I’ve seen for visualizing genetics, inheritance and epigenetics. When I was an undergrad, the field of epigenetics was on the bleeding edge of discovery, and I was left with a hazy idea of what epigenetics might be. After watching the inspired video below, I now feel more comfortable with the concept of genetic tags…although if asked to explain it I’d likely used a metaphor involving lengths of rope and push pins.
The Epigenetics of Identical Twins
Identical twins are indistinguishable as children but they develop physical differences when they become adults. This video uses a creative approach – pieces of rope and everyday objects – to explain one reason for this: the chemical changes that cells make to chromosomes.
What do you think about the scientific content? The presentation? And, if asked, could you explain epigenetics?
As for the video, it is one of the winners in an international science challenge:
For the past seven years a panel of experts in the visualisation of science, brought together by the US National Science Foundation and the journal Science, have selected the photographs, graphics, illustrations and video that best aid the explanation of science and scientific findings for the International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.
The entries are judged for their scientific significance, freshness and originality, as well as their composition and drama. In 2009, there were 130 entries from 14 countries. The winners include a salt-munching desert microbe, a walk-in network of endothelial cells and ball-throwing nanobristles, chosen across five categories: photography, illustration, informational graphics, interactive media and non-interactive media. See some of the winners in our gallery:Visualization Challenge: Prizewinning pictures
(via New Scientist)