‘Cell Side Story’ brings biotechnology to life


High-school students wanting a strong role model would do well to look to DNA Girl. As her official bio says, “she gives all the instructions and everyone follows.” DNA Girl — who grew up in Phosphate, Atoms, and went on to Hydrogen Bonds Arts High School — is one of the stars of Cell Side Story, a three-minute animated movie created by students at Atkins High School in collaboration with the BioBotz program at Wake Forest University and such community partners as Dionysios “Dennis” Nikolaidis of Animusing Productions.

The idea was to create a short that would make biotechnology appealing to other high-school students. After investing hundreds of hours since the project began this past spring, the Atkins students, all seniors, unveiled their creation yesterday at Wake Forest. It was the first time they had seen the finished product.

Introducing Cell Side Story, Jed Macosko, the assistant professor of physics at Wake Forest who directed the project, joked that, as a Bruce Springsteen fan, he had been hoping for something called Born in the DNA. The students decided to go with something more along the lines of High School Musical.

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