Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Health

Is that a double helix round your neck or are you just pleased to see me?

Not Exactly Rocket ScienceBy Ed YongMarch 24, 2011 6:00 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Ed_Scarf.jpg

In which we take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to celebrate... a scarf. At first glance, it looks like an ordinary strip of black and grey wool, but if you look down its length, an iconic hidden pattern emerges (see below). Yes, thanks to this present from my awesome friend Alice Bell, I now get to wind an illusory double helix around my neck. There's probably a joke about histones to be made. The DNA illusion scarf is Alice's own design (video here). In her own words:

DNA and illusion knitting seemed to be made for one another. The ladders of the striping pattern twist round those of the helix as purls and knit-stitches collect to display a regular shape. I also like that you have know how to look at the scarf to really see the pattern. There's an "OH!" moment when you spot it. Symbolic of the science it reflects, the pattern isn't self-evident.

If you're not already doing so, you can and should read Alice's sharp musings on science communication at Through the Looking Glass, and on knitting at Slipped Stitch

Wool_helix_awesome_WIN.jpg

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In