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Ludwig Oxford volunteers head to Abingdon ATOM Festival to run a stall discussing genetic mutation and cancer detection

Volunteers from Ludwig Oxford enjoyed a busy day discussing science, genetic mutation and cancer detection at Abingdon-On-Thames’ ATOM Festival of Science and Technology on the 16th March 2024.

A variety of activities were carried out and enjoyed by all ages as the public visited the Ludwig Oxford stall to crack codes by looking at genetic mutations and to spell their names in DNA bracelets! By carefully checking each letter of their name against the amino acid table and corresponding codon (group of three DNA bases), participants could spell their name and create a two-stranded bracelet that also twisted in a double helix – a true secret message in jewellery.

Others enjoyed figuring out coded sentences using the same amino acid table and corresponding codons of DNA. By changing just one DNA base (a genetic mutation), they could see how the meaning of a sentence might change, or become entirely illegible. This gives an idea as to how cancer can begin to take shape within the body, and starts the conversation about how important the work Ludwig Oxford does to detect these early changes is important for cancer research.

Many thanks go to our volunteers Cheryl Tan and Charlotte Farrow for taking part, and to Abingdon ATOM Festival for organising such a great event.