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The fruits of DNA explored

The ‘DNA in the Garden’ exhibition, launched in June and hosted by the University’s School of Biology, is part of a national exhibition produced by scientists at Kew Gardens to mark the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA.

The fascinating interactive exhibition demonstrates how the molecule that connects all living things on earth, from the tiniest microbe to the largest blue whale, is also responsible for the huge variety of plants found around the world today.

There are only 3 ‘activity days’ remaining – on alternate upcoming Saturdays (25th September, 9th and 23rd October), one of the more unusual highlights is for visitors to try their hand at extracting DNA from strawberries and kiwi fruit – the end result of which can be taken away in a necklace!

Earlier this month, the organisers of the exhibition hosted a reception for members of local societies, schools, councillors and interested groups. Guests, including MSP Iain Smith, local councillors Frances Melville and Elizabeth Riches and John Purvis MEP, were given the opportunity to try the hands-on activities and to speak to Biologists at the University about their research on DNA.

The exhibition is open to the public throughout the week, with research scientists from the University being present at weekends. As well as the DNA extraction, there are competitions to enter, touch-screen quizzes, models to build, and video displays. One further attraction is an interactive model of a plant cell that speaks, using voices of members of the University. The striking model was made by Henry Rae and Murray Coutts of the School of Biology and is on display at weekends.

The exhibition is available for private bookings for schools and colleges on weekdays – interested parties should contact Dr Alyson Tobin on 01334 463375 or email at6@st-andrews.ac.uk

Weblink: http://www.st-andrews- botanic.org/

ENDS

NOTE TO PICTURE EDITORS: JPEGS OF THE RECEPTION AND THE TALKING PLANT CELL ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE PRESS OFFICE – CONTACTS BELOW –

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: DNA reception 220904.doc View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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