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Now onto this week’s final episode of Science Club, where Dara takes a look at the weird and wonderful world of reproduction and inheritance.
Every complex living thing on Earth is here because of sex – it’s beautifully universal. And before anyone tuts or raises an eyebrow about titillation, by “sex” we mean reproduction, inheritance, DNA and genetics.
Understanding how life is made via our genes will help shine headlights into the dark recesses of disease, fill in blanks about how life evolved on Earth and get us closer to understanding what it means (at a molecular level) to be human.
Has all the research on sequencing the human gene been worth the effort?
This week Alok Jha asks whether all the millions of dollars and decades of scientists’ time spent on sequencing the human genome – remember the big fanfare when the Human Genome Project was completed in 2000? – has actually been worth the effort. We’ve been promised so much, but have any of the treatments and cures been delivered yet? We won’t spoil the show for you except to say that we shouldn’t expect the path of scientific research, just like we don’t expect normal life, to be simple and clear cut.
What better way to celebrate all this new-found insight into sex than a cocktail? Fortunately presenter Mark Miodownik was on hand in the studio this week to offer up some drinks. His special DNA-based cocktail was not the tastiest thing in the world, but as you might expect, it contained a scientific marvel. Why not have a go at making it yourself before you watch the show? Just grab some strong vodka and a drop or two of washing-up liquid. Then wait for some awe.
Professor Mark Miodownik makes an interesting DNA cocktail in the studio
The DNA Cocktail
50ml Vodka (88%)
25ml Cheeky Saliva
6ml Pineapple Juice
1ml Washing up liquid
Pinch of salt
Here’s more of a sneak peek into what’s coming up:
Tune in this Sunday at 8.40pm on BBC Knowledge, Channel 612, on Foxtel for the final episode of Dara O Briains Science Club.