Brighton Science Festival

Herding Hemingway’s Cats

Friday 12 February 2016

Science presenters and real-life sisters, Dr Kat and Helen Arney, are back at the Brighton Science Festival with a new show after last year’s smash hit ‘How The Victorians Ruined The World’.

The language of genes has become common in the media. We know they make your eyes blue, your hair curly or your nose straight. We’re told that genes control the risk of cancer, heart disease, alcoholism or Alzheimer’s. The cost of DNA sequencing has plummeted from billions of pounds to a few hundred, and gene-based advances in medicine hold huge promise.

There are 2.2 metres of DNA inside every one of your cells, encoding roughly 20,000 genes. These are the ‘recipes’ that tell our cells how to make the building blocks of life, along with all the control switches ensuring they’re turned on and off at the right time and in the right place. But rather than a static string of genetic code, this is a dynamic, writhing biological library.

With the help of cats with thumbs, fish with hips and wobbly worms, Dr Kat and Helen Arney will set aside their shared genetic quirks and sibling rivalry to unpack some of the mysteries in our DNA and explain the latest thinking about how our genes work.


£8 / £6. Ages 12+