Genome Zone

Augment the exhibit with a lab space called the "Genome Zone". Use some or all of the following activities to provide visitors with new experiences every day.

  • Genes in a Bottle: Visitors will learn about how DNA is an integral part of every cell in their body. Visitors will extract DNA from their own cheek cells and make them visible through Genes in a Bottle. Using a pipette, visitors will transfer their suspended DNA into a bottle to take home.
  • Genome Bracelets: Children of all ages will be able to create a bracelet based on their favorite DNA sequence. Participants will build genetic bracelets by using simple pairings of nucleotide bases or by translating DNA's triplet code into an amino acid sequence — the building block of proteins.
  • Different Genes, Different Medicines: Everyone responds to medication differently. The same medication that works wonders for some people can cause adverse side effects in other people. Visitors will discover that their own genome influences whether they can taste a bitter substance or not and how this can relate to their health.
  • Wing It: Genomics is changing scientists' understanding of the tree of life. Visitors will sort butterflies using body shape and wing color and then discover how genomics can change the way scientists make decisions about relationships among different species.
  • The Scientist Is In: Accomplished scientists from the National Institutes of Health, the National Museum of Natural History and other research institutions will discuss ongoing genomic science with visitors. Visitors will have the exciting opportunity to ask a scientist about what genomics is and how it is changing the way researchers can study life.
  • Genome Geeks: Genome geeks are young scientists with a passion for genomics and life on Earth. Genome geeks will engage visitors, young and old, to inspire other budding science-enthusiasts to pursue their own passions in biology.