Aerial silk dancers and the launch of the Nature ENCODE Project

Science-related social media was abuzz on September 5, 2012 in regards to the launch of the Nature ENCODE database.  @NatureMagazine could not contain their excitement, with a variety of tweets:  announcing the new venture, linking to the database, movies about the database, and even pictures of aerial silk dancers at their Nature ENCODE launch press conference.

The Nature ENCODE Project launch press conference included aerial silk dancers, seen here imitating concatenated DNA. The image was reproduced from http://www.facebook.com/nature.

Aerial silk dancers? Yes, these dancers were imitating various DNA elements, including looped DNA (as seen above) and primed DNA polymerases, found here.

What was the reason for all this fanfare? What is Nature ENCODE?

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