The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22810   Message #251597
Posted By: raredance
04-Jul-00 - 10:10 AM
Thread Name: Song Challenge: Human Genome
Subject: RE: Song Challenge: Human Genome
Here's information on a book and song published a few years ago by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

"Double Talking Helix Blues "
By Joel Herskowitz, New England Medical Center Hospitals, Boston; illustrated by Judy Cuddihy, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; additional text by Ira Herskowitz, University of California at San Francisco . 1993, Cloth (plus 12-minute audiocassette)
Price $15 ISBN 0-87969-431-9 "...the point of this story, I'll tell you right now.
Did you ever sit down and think about how
It is that each time a baby's born
It's a baby -- not a rabbit or an ear of corn?"

The answer is in DNA -- the stuff that genes are made of. Twin brothers Joel and Ira Herskowitz, physician and scientist, respectively, have come up with a new way to explain to children (ages 8+) how it is that when a person's genetic message is "copied," the result is another human being -- not a rabbit or an ear of corn.

Based on a song written by Joel Herskowitz while he was in medical school, the "Double Talking Helix Blues" is a book and audio tape presentation on the structure and function of DNA. The book includes the text for Joel's song, which is illustrated with spectacular paintings by Judy Cuddihy to provide an important visual component to the overall "lesson" on DNA.

This is followed by a guide written by Ira Herskowitz to explain the scientific terms and concepts in the song; this section describes in clear terms what, for example, a chromosome, nucleus, and molecule are. Accompanying the book is a 12-minute audio tape with performances of the song by Joel and Ira.

All in all, the "Double Talking Helix Blues" provides young readers with a wonderful introduction to concepts of cells and molecules, reproduction at the molecular level, and DNA and its structure. The target age group for this presentation is ages 8 and up, as well as teachers, scientists, and all those interested in molecular biology at its most basic level.

"Drawings of chromosomes, DNA, and Watson and Crick are cleverly interwoven with the lyrics to produce a pleasing story at whatever level the reader decides to adopt."

rich r