Selling stuff with DNA

I am intrigued by the way the double-helix structure of DNA is used to signify all kinds of vague “isn’t this scientific/genetic/biological/hi-tech” kinds of messages.[1]

Guinot ad Philadelphia Here’s an example I saw in a shop window in Philadelphia a couple of weeks’ ago (hence the reflections, including me and my summer hat). Is the double helix in this image doing anything different from the attractive young lady?

According to Guinot’s website, their sun cream was “The first sun protection concept which incorporates DNA molecules, in addition to sun filters. Their role is to absorb and neutralise the UV rays, which would otherwise have damaged the DNA of skin cells”. I have no scientific qualifications, but this sounds as if the “DNA molecules” in the sun cream are the right size and shape to cover those in your skin, like a set of double-helical umbrellas. Or maybe some really advance scientific research has gone into this…

[1] For many more fascinating examples, see Susan M. Lindee and Dorothy Nelkin’s book, The DNA Mystique: The Gene as a Cultural Icon (2004).