Media Release: 21 October 2010
The Garvan Institute of Medical Research, with the help of Sydney school students, is hoping to create a new Guinness World Record™ by building the largest model of DNA in the world on Thursday 21st October.
More than 150 science students and staff at the Garvan Institute have been involved in preparations to build the 26 metre long structure, an exact replica of the neuropeptide Y (NPY) gene. NPY is a molecule found in the human brain and critical to the regulation of essential functions such as appetite, bone formation and stress response.
The structure contains 1,300 base pairs, which are the basic elements of the genetic code used by all organisms to make proteins. The students will be attempting to break the existing record held by Konan University in Kobe, Japan.
To meet Guinness World Records™ guidelines, the students have had to follow the exact gene sequence for the NPY gene. Other detailed evidence, such as photographs, video footage, expert witness statements and measurement verification will be sent to Guinness World Records™ for examination before the official record can be confirmed.
Head of Science from SCEGGS Darlinghurst School Luke Hanson said: “This will be an amazing achievement, with so many students working together to make it possible. It’s also a great learning experience for our students. We are delighted they have the chance to participate in such a fun practical project, with great educational value.”
The DNA model will be on public display at the Garvan Institute as part of its free Open Day on Sunday 24th October.
Garvan Open Day will also feature an interactive disease mini-expo where the public can meet leading scientists in cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, brain and immune disorder research. Tours of the state-of-the-art research facilities will be held throughout the day and a panel discussion hosted by Channel Nine’s Peter Overton will debate “What Will it Take to Cure Cancer?”.
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