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University explains the fruit of tomorrow

Posted on 1 July 2002

. . . and the link between a baby's nappy and an aircraft

Extracting DNA from a kiwi fruit and making a nylon rope by drawing it from a liquid are two of the demonstrations which the University of York is running as part of the largest-ever celebration of science, technology, and engineering.

A team led by Dr Nigel Lowe and Dr Annie Hodgson of the Department of Chemistry will be spending July touring the UK with the Tomorrow's World Roadshow.

The University's exhibit, Molecules for Life, looks at the importance of natural and synthetic polymers, spanning the chemistry-biology interface and featuring innovative research from both departments. The display includes chemical demonstrations, hands-on exhibits for the public to explore, dramatic images and computer simulations.

Dr Lowe said: "We'll be doing exciting demonstrations like showing people how they can extract DNA from a kiwi fruit at home. We'll also be showing how you pull a nylon rope from between two layers of liquid and demonstrating samples of different types of polymers ranging from those used to absorb the moisture in a baby's nappy to the thermoplastic material used for aircraft. There will be a chance to try a DNA jigsaw designed by one of our graduates, and forming a DNA double helix with light ropes.

"And we'll have graduate researchers who will explain their work on large molecules to the road show visitors. The science includes nanotechnology, protein chemistry, clean technology, and designing novel materials from the molecule upwards."

Notes to editors:

  • The RoadShow venues are:
    • Birmingham NEC, 3-6 July
    • London Earl's Court 2, 10-13 July
    • Cardiff National Indoor Athletics Stadium, 17-20 July
    • Glasgow SECC, 24-27 July
  • Entrance is free. For more information check out the RoadShow website via
  • The Tomorrow's World programme will be broadcast live from the Road Show each Wednesday

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153