Photo Credit: Marilyn Rathbone
My research for 'Your Genes in Their Hands' revealed controversial issues surrounding the patenting of gene and partial gene sequences. I learnt that the trend towards patenting genes is opposed by many scientists, including most of those involved in the Human Genome Project, itself, on the grounds that working out a gene sequence and its basic function is a process of discovery rather than invention.
The braids spell out gene patents that have been granted to big pharmaceutical companies. Beads, attached to either sides of the braids in paired colours and grouped in sets of three along each side, represent the chemical pairings and amino acids of DNA. The different length tubes can be hung in a circle, in staggered increments, to give the effect of a spiral (echoing the spiral of DNA).
An information card (shown opposite) is displayed alongside the work.
3.8cm diameter x 75-125cm (various)
woven wire, beads, perspex tubing