London’s DNA Trail

Posted by The Skibbereen Eagle | July 6, 2015 2

dna_trail_02Our body is made up of trillions of cells. Each one of these is packed with long, delicate strands of DNA which provides the hardwired operating instructions (or genes) for everything that cell will ever need to do. These delicate twists of information are very important. And only now are we learning the true impact of Crick’s work as the science of human Genomics takes off. James Watson, Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin’s scientific breakthrough was one of the most significant in modern history and transformed our understanding of the human body.


"The sculptures are so pretty, and it’s a great game to find them all.  My favourite was the cat and mouse!" Luna Caden, age 7, cancer survivor

“The sculptures are so pretty, and it’s a great game to find them all. My favourite was the cat and mouse!” Luna Caden, age 7, cancer survivor

This summer, you can take part in an extraordinary event across London, in support of Cancer Research UK. This London art trail is made up of 21 beautifully designed giant sculptures and runs until Sunday 6th September. Inspired by the DNA double helix form, London’s DNA Trail sculptures have been designed by some of the biggest names in art and design. Check out the sculpture map and start planning your trail now.

Don’t forget to spread the word on social media by using the hashtag #DNAtrail, tagging @CR_UK with your posts on twitter. Enjoy your journey!


DNA model built by Crick and Watson in 1953, on display in the Science Museum, London.

The sculptures will be auctioned in September 2015 to raise funds to help complete the construction of the Francis Crick Institute, an exciting new biomedical research facility being built at London’s King’s Cross. The institute is named after Francis Crick, the British scientist who co-discovered the DNA double helix in 1953 at the Cavendish Lab in Cambridge with the American scientist James Watson. Watson, Crick, and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”.


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Where to find the sculptures.

Ai WeiWei: Christie’s window, 85 Old Brompton Rd, SW7 3LD
Darren Baker: Gallery window, 81 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PP (available early July)
Andrew Logan: Festival Gardens, St Paul’s, EC4M 8AD
Aston Martin: Cardinal Place window, 80 Victoria Street, SW1E 5JL (available early July)
Ben Shine: St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR (available early July)
Chris and Xand van Tulleken: Victoria Station, near WH Smith SW1E 5ND
Darren Baker: Trafalgar Square, WC2H 0HE
Guy Portelli: Royal Albert Hall, South Steps, SW7 2AP
Ian Callum: Director of Design, Jaguar – South Kensington Station,
Pelham Street, SW7 2NB
Jane Morgan: Coutts window, The Strand,sWC2Ro0QS
Leyla Aliyeva: King’s Cross Station, near Leon, N1C 4TB
Mayor of Westminster: Great George Street, outside No. 10, SW1P 3AE
Michael Howells: Top of South Molton Street, Bond Street
Nick Gentry: Barbican Centre, Foyer of Cinema 2 & 3, Beech Street, EC2Y 8DS DNAOrlaKiely
DNAThieryOrla Kiely: Dovehouse Green, King’s Road, SW3 5UF
Pilar Enrich: Trafalgar Square, WC2H 0HE
Ross Brawn: Peter’s Hill, St Paul’s, EC4V 5EY
Ted Baker: Broadwick Street, W1F 9PE
Thierry Noir: Duke of York Square, King’s Road, SW3 4LY
Tim Ashley: Waterloo Station, outside M&S, SE1 8SW
Zaha Hadid: Somerset House, WC2R 1LA
Ian Callum, the Director of Design at Jaguar has designed a DNA-inspired sculpture to feature in Cancer Research’s London art trail, helping to raise funds for the Francis Crick Institute. He tells us what’s in Jaguar’s DNA and shows us how his sculpture was designed.

The Skibbereen Eagle

In 1898, to widespread bemusement, a small Provincial Newspaper in an equally small town in the South West corner of Ireland sonorously warned the Czar of Russia that it knew what he was up to and he should be careful how he proceeded for “The Skibbereen Eagle” was wise to his game and in future would be keeping its eye on him! It is doubtful that Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, even noticed the Eagle’s admonitions but as history soon proved he should have paid closer attention to the Eagle’s insightful opinions!

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