UK Royal Mail Releases "DNA Comic" Postage Stamps

Comics aren’t always in books or the Sunday newspaper. As shown in the current issue of The Scientist, they can be scientific postage stamps by political cartoonists, too. These amusing comic artworks were made public in the United Kingdom a few weeks ago as a series of five postage stamps and dozens of postmarks released by the Royal Mail on Feb. 25 known as “The Secret Of Life”. The postmarks all have a DNA theme, with lots of double helix motifs and even a sperm. The five cartoons on the stamps are the work of The Times newspaper’s political cartoonist Peter Brookes, working for designers Williams Murray Hamm. Professor Susan Aldridge split the subject of DNA into the five key areas which Brookes translated into cartoons. The Royal Mail has long had a humorous side in the UK, perhaps best exemplified by Postman Pat (who himself is evolving to meet the future headon). Other available British DNA mementos include a DNA-themed two pound coin (that’s Sterling monetary currency, not weight) by the exquisite British jeweler Chard. The hoopla is of course all meant to honor the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA structure, which has sparked all kinds of (weird) tributes. These included serious scientific postage stamps by the Royal Mail on DNA and other scientific subjects as well. The U.S Postal Service is pretty much ignoring the DNA anniversary even though one of the pair involved was an American. Pretty much the only recently released USPS stamps dealing with DNA are last year’s Neuter or Spay stamps…