What is LIFE?

What is LIFE?
Tell the story of DNA and RNA

1 (Small) In 1953 J.D Watson and F.H. Crick discovered the Structure of DNA and the Story begins……

In 2013, John Atkins, Research Professor at the Department of Biochemistry, University College Cork, together with Dr J.D. Watson and West Cork Education Centre launched a Science competition for students. This competition was specifically designed to increase awareness of Genetic understanding and research.
On April 26th 2014, the ‘What is Life’ competition winners were awarded their prizes during a ceremony at the National Botanical Gardens in Dublin.
This competition inspired by Professor John F Atkins and designed by West Cork Education Centre attracted a large number of entries from around the country. The winning students described their Genetic understanding of DNA and RNA through story and poem. 2 (Small)Well done to the winners!
Joint Post Primary Winners
Rhoda Ekundayo – St Finians CC, Swords
Nicola Ried – St Andrew’s College, Co Dublin
Primary Winner
Asa Curran- Abbeystrewry NS, Skibbereen
Congratulations to all students who participated  in this project
On the 28th of April 2013, a Sculpture designed by Charles Jencks, celebrating Life’s Information with representations of DNA and RNA was opened by Dr J.D Watson at the National Botanical Gardens in Dublin. This event was a celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the discovery of DNA.In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick presented the structure of the DNA-helix, the molecule that carries genetic information from one generation to another. The scene was set for a future of world changing decisions which would impact on all our lives and will continue to do so.The sculpture was accepted on behalf of the Irish people by Minster Brian Hayes T.D.Before a large audience, beside the lily pond that lies at the heart of the Botanical Gardens, Dr J.D Watson officially opened this fine landform which celebrates true life. The double Helix, recognisable in this structure, stands proudly at the head of the path rising above the landscape. The twisting form of RNA indicates its powerful function throughout the land- form.An important highlight of this momentous event was the awarding of ‘What is Life’ competition prizes to Post Primary and Primary school winners by Dr J.D Watson. These students described their genetic understanding of DNA and RNA through story and poem. Their interpretations were clever, creative, imaginative and entertaining.
Post Primary Winners
Niamh Maher, St Angela’s School, Waterford
Éabha Wall, Coláiste na Toirbhirte, Bandon, Co Cork
Primary Winners
Milly Smith, Our Lady of Mercy NS, Bantry
Honourable mention: Cormac Farrelly, P4 Rowandale Integrated School, ArmaghEach winner also received  a copy of J.D. Watson’s book “The Annotated and Illustrated Double Helix”. 2012, autographed and personalised by Dr. Watson.