IT’S official: Huddersfield University is a world-beater.
Guinness World Records have confirmed that the university has won a new world record for the largest model of DNA.
The model was built by 124 university and sixth-form students and academic staff at the university.
Students from the university’s Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences teamed up with about 60 sixth-form students from Rastrick High School, Huddersfield New College, Huddersfield Technical College (now Kirklees College), Greenhead College, Shelley High School and Heckmondwike Grammar to beat the record in just under an hour after a morning of intensive coaching and training.
The record-breaking DNA model measures 21.5 metres (70ft 6in) and exactly copies the genetic code for human insulin.
It is the world’s largest because it consists of 1,118 base pairs, compared with the previous world record, which was a random sequence of about 300 base pairs.
A base pair is the fundamental element of the genetic code used by all organisms to make proteins such as insulin.
The new record-breaker is now on permanent display as a piece of public art in the university’s Science Building.
Dr Jeremy Hopwood, the university’s ‘communicator in science’, said: “It was verified on the day as accurate and meeting world record requirements by famous cricket umpire Dickie Bird and former head of pharmaceutical company Galpharm International, Graham Leslie, who judged the record-breaking attempt.’’
He added: “We are extremely proud of our achievement and very happy to hold the new world record.”
Delight with super DNA model