OMSI exhibit explores what’s in a genome and why that matters

All of your genes, the complete set, all of those instructions that make you, you are what’s called a genome.

In humans, it amounts to billions of DNA base pairs, and it’s the stuff of considerable scientific inquiry.

Nitrogenous bases — A, C, G and T — are the building blocks of DNA. (Credit: Freeimages)

Nitrogenous bases — A, C, G and T — are the building blocks of DNA. (Credit: Freeimages)

If you’re curious about the study of genomes in humans and other species, you might want to check out an exhibit in the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s Life Hall — “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code.”

The exhibit explores the role that genomics — the study of the genomes — plays in understanding life: from exploring the diversity of organisms to evidence from the archaeological and fossil records that helps to answer questions about human evolution.

Additional topics it touches on include the future of genomic medicine in terms of treating genetic diseases, creating personalized health care and stopping epidemics.

The exhibit is designed for anyone age 5 and older and includes interactive components, 3-D models and videos.

To go along with the exhibit, OMSI is offering various complementary activities and lectures via its Life Lab, lab curricula for schools, Science Pub talks and Reel Science film series.

Entry to “Genome” is included in regular museum admission, which is $9.75 for kids and seniors and $13.50 for adults.

The exhibit, which runs through Jan. 3, 2016, was developed by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the National Human Genome Research Institute in association with Science North. It’s hosted at OMSI via a collaboration with Portland State University and Oregon Health and Science University.

For more information, go to the exhibits calendar on OMSI’s website and click on the “Genome” icon.

Susannah L. Bodman
Twitter: @Sciwhat
Facebook: Sciwhat.Science

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