An exhibit on genetics research that features cartoons to interest children, and a "gene therapy board game," will open Tuesday, September 9 at the National Institutes of Health.
Titled "Revolution in Progress: Human Genetics and Medical Research," the exhibit looks specifically at how this research will help in the prevention and treatment of disease. It also provides information on what DNA, genes, and chromosomes do in our bodies, explains how basic research has led to a better understanding of genetic diseases, and discusses the scope, purpose, and techniques of the Human Genome Project to map and decode our genes. One section poses ethical dilemmas raised by the research.
"Genetics research is producing discoveries that have profound implications for our society," says historian Dr. Victoria Harden, who is also director of NIH's DeWitt Stetten, Jr., Museum of Medical Research. "This research will affect everyone's life, and we must struggle individually and as a nation with the ethical questions regarding testing, medical insurance and job discrimination, and gene therapy and eugenics," she added.
Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, will mark the exhibit's opening in Lipsett Auditorium with a noon lecture titled, "Where We Are and Where We Are Headed: The Current Status and Future Direction of Research into Genetics." A ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception will immediately follow the lecture. This event will be presented in conjunction with the Genetics Interest Group.
The exhibit will be located in Building 10 (Clinical Center) on the balcony over the Visitors' Center. It is open seven days a week and visitors may view it from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at no charge. The exhibit was produced by the Stetten Museum in collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.