Beginning Thursday, September 19, 2002 visitors to the Dolan DNA Learning Center in Cold Spring Harbor can explore the human genome in a hands-on, self-guided exhibit, The Genes We Share.
The Genes We Share is an engaging exhibition recommended for children aged 10 and up, and adults. From the restroom doors that require a person to categorize themselves as either XX or XY, to large-scale "peoplescapes" that remind us of both our individual differences and our genetic similarity, this exhibition encourages people to consider the intimate relationship between themselves and their genes.
"This exhibition encourages people to take a good close look at themselves, and each other! We all have DNA, and the human genome project has allowed us to get to know ourselves a little better," said Bronwyn Terrill, multimedia developer at the Dolan DNA Learning Center. "There's plenty to do--whether you're watching your thumbprint develop, listening to stories about your chromosomes or comparing your face with that of your ancient ancestor's."
The human genome is the vast instruction manual for our bodies, the code that makes us both similar and different, the record of our shared ancestry, and a source of information that could foreshadow a person's future health. In this hands-on exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to follow the path of ancient humans across the globe; see the first reconstruction of an adult Neandertal skeleton; compare characteristics that make them unique, such as their tongue-rolling ability, hairiness, eye color and other genetic traits; take a tour through the genome, stopping at important "landmarks" along the way; and view a reconstruction of the original model of DNA made by Francis Crick and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory President James Watson in 1953.
The Dolan DNA Learning Center (DNALC) is located at 334 Main Street in Cold Spring Harbor. The Genes We Share is open to the public on weekdays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is free of charge. For more information, call 516-367-5170, or visit the DNALC's web site at www.dnalc.org.
Support for The Genes We Share has been provided in part by the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, The William A. Haseltine Foundation for Medical Sciences and The Arts, and Tularik Inc. Support for the Dolan DNA Learning Center's Exhibition Program has been provided by Laurie J. Landeau, D.V.M.
The DNALC is the world's first science center devoted entirely to public genetics education and the largest provider of hands-on instruction in genetics and molecular biology. Since its founding in 1988, the DNALC has provided laboratory experiences for 150,000 pre-college students. The DNALC popularized several useful methods--including equipment-sharing consortia, mobile vans to carry instructional labs to remote sites, and laboratory field trips--for delivering laboratory instruction in genetics to large numbers of biology students. Its DNA Science laboratory curriculum has sold 60,000 copies to date and is used in both high schools and colleges. Approximately 4,000 teaching faculty in 40 states and several foreign countries have received training at DNALC-sponsored workshops. Dolan DNA Learning Center Director David Micklos is a recognized leader in science education and is a recipient of the prestigious Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Education.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a private, non-profit basic research institution. Under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Stillman, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society (London), some 300 scientists at the Laboratory conduct groundbreaking research in cancer, neurobiology, plant genetics, and bioinformatics. For additional information, call (516) 367-8455, or visit the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory web site at www.cshl.edu.