Dance Dance DNA Revolution

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    This is the awesomest thing ever.

    At the scripps aquarium near San Diego, they devote half the space to teaching kids about science. In a wing devoted to explaining gene expression they had some stuff about DNA and the coolest thing was this video game that taught you about building blocks of life, then proceeded to a real DDR game where you have to step to the DNA parts being shown on screen.

    The best part was when one of the 20 amino acids were built, it would say the name. So you'd see A T T G C and so on... and then it would shout "Cysteine!"

    It was mostly lost on the kids, who just wanted to play some DDR, but it was a very clever idea. My hat's off to the scientists that came up with this idea.

    update: here is the aquarium research site describing the exhibit.

    Tom Armitage, fczuardi, bach_m, and 28 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Lou Tamposi 112 months ago | reply

      That's awesome. Really awesome. I think my school should get one, the teachers are at a loss trying to explain this to most of the kids in their classes.

    2. LandscapesTraveller 112 months ago | reply

      I imagine classes with such games instead of tables...

    3. Plutor 112 months ago | reply

      So you have to keep looking down to remember that you have to step to the left to hit Thymine? One of the beauties of DDR is that the UI is completely and utterly intuitive.

    4. michaelrjohnson 112 months ago | reply

      to Plutor:

      In traditional DDR, most people don't have to look down to remember that a step to the left gives the left arrow. It's the same learning curve.

    5. lisainglasses 112 months ago | reply

      Great idea. I'd love one of these at the Medical Museum where I work.

    6. Adam Carroll 112 months ago | reply

      to LDVDist:

      How about a DNA synthesizer controlled in this manner? Why just have it be a teaching tool?

      "Whatcha making, Bob?"
      "A gene to help me dance better."

      Truly a great idea.

    7. pwinn 112 months ago | reply

      Plutor, when playing DDR, most people end up making their decision about which pad to step on based on the symbols position on screen as much or more than the actual symbol. A left-pointing arrow climbing up the right column would get most people to step on the right pad.

      So substituting letters for arrows wouldn't be as big a change as you might think.

    8. Plutor 112 months ago | reply

      The up arrow is never displayed above the other arrows. I bet you could confuse people a lot more than you think just by randomizing the arrow symbols.

    9. bcrosbie 112 months ago | reply

      actually you can set the game so that the arrows oscillate moving up the screen, so I don't think it is solely based upon location, although ultimately the arrow does end up in the same horizontal space when it gets to the top.

    10. erik_satie_rollerblading 112 months ago | reply

      Then there's the Quantum Game at the Science Museum of Tlon, where the up arrow and down arrow can control both the up and top quark and the bottom and down quark on a random basis. Strange.

    11. Corgi_T 112 months ago | reply

      They need one of those at the Exploratorium here in SF.

    12. mimbrava 112 months ago | reply

      Congratulations! This image is currently one of Flickr's most interesting photos for 31 January 2006. (It is on page one of the calendar view.) Would you please add it to the Interestingness pool? It would be a great addition!

    13. MarkAndMarina 112 months ago | reply

      Looks like you've been delicious'd by someone, too... which may explain the interestingness spike!

      (What a bizarre small world; I click a random interesting-sounding delicious link, and it's for a Flickr photo by the guy who runs Metafilter... the three main web things that I waste time using!)

    14. OhmyCats 109 months ago | reply

      My hat's off to the scientists that came up with this idea!! it was a very clever idea !!
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    15. ~xenon~ 100 months ago | reply

      ei that's a nice pad! those poles can be really helpful..

    16. alxflickrrr 67 months ago | reply

      Great photo. Thanks.

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