Background

Genome: Unlocking Life's Code is organized around three content areas offering visitors personalized and interactive experiences that explore what a genome is (The Genome Within Us), how it relates to medicine and health (Your Genome, Your Health), and how it connects humans to all of life on the planet, both past and present (Connections: Natural World and Genomic Journey). Within each gallery, numerous topics are explored through the latest imagery on genomics, hands-on and media interactives, videos and other engaging content. Through examples of ways that genomic science can affect their lives in ordinary and extraordinary ways, visitors learn how genomics can affect perspectives about health, identity, and the place of humans in the natural world.

Genome: Unlocking Life's Code takes visitors on a genomic journey from the present to the future.


The Genome Within Us

Upon arrival, visitors are oriented at the center of the exhibition where they explore how the genome is a part of their own bodies. Visitors discover what a genome is, where it is located in the cells of the human body (in the cell nucleus), and how it works to regulate life, echoed with an introductory animation. Visitors see a three-dimensional model of a human genome and watch interviews with Human Genome Project researchers produced by HISTORY™. Visitors also participate in a social interactive where they explore the ethical, legal, and social implications of advancing DNA sequencing technologies, submit their responses on an interactive station and find out how their views compare with those of other visitors. An electronic news ticker display provides streaming genomic news headlines.


Your Genome, Your Health

Guests explore the many ways in which genome sequencing benefits patients through improved health care. They learn about genes, genomic solutions to mysterious medical diseases, and through an interactive, search for the right medicine for a given disease. A mechanical interactive allows visitors to learn how genetic, environmental, and random factors influence risk for a particular disease. Visitors delve into traits and disease by exploring a variety of genes in a media interactive. Videos of personal stories and interactives engage and encourage visitors to discover how the study of genomes is aiding in the diagnoses and treatment of disease.


Connections: Natural World and Genomic Journey

Visitors learn about the ways that genomes reflect the connection of all life on the planet, human ancestry and evolution — and even human society. There is an opportunity to learn more about how new genomic technologies are helping to preserve genetic diversity and study changes in our environment. By exploring a virtual tree of life, visitors see what the genomes of fifteen species reveal. Human ancestry is now enhanced by understanding our genomes, both past and present. Real stories of what ancestry testing revealed about seven real individuals yields a number of surprises.