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Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” immerses visitors in a high-tech environment that captures the revolutionary nature of genomic science. The 4,400-square foot exhibition, which opened June 14, 2013 at the National Mall, is the product of a partnership between the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). After a year at NMNH, the exhibition began to travel to science venues in other states and countries, extending its reach to an even broader audience.

The exhibition focuses on several areas of genomic science:

  • The Genome Within Us introduces the human genome and the role genomics plays in modern life
  • The Natural World presents the fascinating diversity of living things, how their genomes differ, and their surprising similarities
  • Our Genomic Journey illustrates how genomics has added to archaeological and fossil evidence, increasing knowledge of human origins and helping to answer questions about recent ancestry
  • Genomic Medicine shifts the focus to a future in which knowledge of how genomic variants affect disease risk may point to lifestyle changes, choices of medications, or ways to stop deadly epidemics in their tracks

Throughout the exhibit, Genomics and Society confronts the ethical, legal, and social concerns raised by advances in genomic science.

Beyond the main exhibit, the NMNH has developed a “Genome Zone,” where hands-on activities and participation are available to the young and young at heart.