Brain-slice coasters

This is your brain under alcohol. Or coffee, tea, or juice. These glass coasters, priced at $19.99, each features a different slice through the human brain. “If you stack your Brain Specimen Coasters in the proper order (which is easy to do, since the coasters are labeled) and look from the proper angle, you’ll see a full brain,” according to ThinkGeek. “Plus, if you use your Brain Specimen Coasters at your next science party, your friends will know how thoughtful you really are. Get it?”


Scalpel not required

For the anatomist-slash-knitter in your life who may want to relive 7th-grade biology class, these knitting patterns make the perfect gift. At once cute and morbid, the knittable critters include a fetal pig, bat, rat, earthworm, and frog. Patterns are sold separately or you can buy six for $14.95. aKNITomy also sells final products, including “a...


Sew scientific

If you’re into homemade gifts and bear some talent for sewing, Spoonflower has a stunning collection of fabrics to suit any life-science discipline, from microbiology to neuroscience to cardiology to genetics. Prices vary, with many fabrics at $17.50 per yard. From petri dishes to plant stem cells to a “protozoa bestiary,” any choice will make for a much more striking tote bag than the typical conference giveaway.


Coloring books

Scientists can invoke their inner Audubon or Hooke with biology- and nature-themed coloring books for under $20. Barnes & Noble, among other vendors, offers coloring books with vintage-naturalist-style images, microbes, and cellular innards. “Readers experience for themselves how the coloring of a carefully designed picture almost magically creates understanding,” according to a description of the latter. Magic or not, coloring is a great way to soothe the overworked scientist’s mind.


Biology barware

CognitiveSurplus sells a variety of science-themed barware items for the alcohol enthusiast on your list. Scientists can toast to a successful experiment with stemless wine glasses featuring a DNA replication scene ($18 each) or pint glasses graced with the likeness of Rosalind Franklin or Charles Darwin ($15 each). “Don’t you spend too much time alone in the lab? Raise a glass and get social!” the company suggests.


SNP selfie

For the person who has everything (except an oversize portrait of his or her genome), dna 11 will print on canvas a giant image of one’s own DNA as bands run through a gel. Wall hangings start at $199 and involve sending in a cheek swab and selecting size, color, and frame specifications. According to the company, “Your personal DNA picture print will be as unique as you are. No two prints will ever be alike.”


Wrapped in cells

To ward off the winter chill, give your dear scientist a silk scarf featuring neurons, red blood cells, petri dishes, cell division stages, and the like. Each costs $55. “Flaunt your geekery with subtle style in this gorgeous silk chiffon scarf featuring a border print of unipolar neurons,” says seller Artologica. If your recipient is not into scarves, the company also sells petri-dish ornaments and watercolor paintings.



Not sure what to buy for that certain researcher? Well, there is a very good likelihood he or she appreciates grant funding, so pay it forward by donating in the scientist’s honor. Numerous research organizations, science advocacy groups, and experimenters themselves (via crowdfunding sites) will gladly accept your money. To buy a gift and give to charity, GeekWrapped donates money to scientific nonprofits for all purchases (the genetic self-portrait, for instance) made through its site. 


Thumbnail image: Pixabay, delphinmedia

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