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Genetics: Technology With A Twist

Press Release Date 
Wednesday, 17 March, 2004
The Tech Museum of Innovation unveils Genetics: Technology With A Twist, its newest permanent exhibition. Developed in partnership with Stanford University's Department of Genetics, and designed and built in-house, the new exhibit offers visitors first-hand experiences that relate current genetic technologies to real people, real professionals, and real places. Interactive displays focus on important social and personal choices, and opportunities we're faced with as a result of better understanding who we are and how we're made. "Genetics may seem abstract and complex, but breakthroughs in this science affect us all in very real ways," said Peggy Monahan, Director of Exhibits and Programs at The Tech Museum of Innovation. "In the development of Genetics: Technology With A Twist, we've made a conscious choice to illustrate that advances in genetic research pose really important questions. Not only is this exhibit important and relevant, it is truly engaging, entertaining, and educational." With Genetics: Technology With A Twist, The Tech introduces TechTags, new RFID-embedded bracelets that let guests interact with exhibits like never before. Guests collect virtual GeneKid Cards to their new personal website by completing TechTag-enabled activities in the exhibit. The GeneKid Cards contain interesting facts and information about guests' visits, as well as activities to try at home. These personal websites will exist for years as an opportunity to continually extend visits to The Tech. The new technology will be incorporated into future exhibits at The Tech. Select TechTag activities include: viewing results from a wet lab experiment, delivering and playing back a virtual congressional speech, and building and storing a virtual protest sign. The new exhibit is segmented into four key areas: Intro Area Just like family recipes passed down from ancestors, genes are shaped by our environment, and the choices we make. Consider how a chocolate chip cookie recipe changes, for example, if you use different amounts of ingredients each time, or bake at different altitudes. Genetic Medicine Use real technology to practice diagnosing diseases, prescribing treatments and creating better medicines. Try your hand at gene sequencing, microarray testing, and even grow jellyfish protein in our wet lab. Genetic Counseling Join a virtual genetics counselor, and experience real-life cases of individuals considering a test for a genetic disorder. Genetic Policy Genetics research presents new decisions about how these technologies are used in our society. Express your opinion on social issues by virtually delivering a speech to Congress, creating an electronic protest sign, and more. Additional Information Genetics: Technology With A Twist is presented entirely in English and Spanish, and was made possible by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, and through support from Agilent Technologies, Genentech Foundation for Biomedical Sciences and Genentech, Inc., Susan and John Diekman, Kaiser Permanente, Roche, Barbara and John Glynn, Elo TouchSystems, Inc. Tickets to The Tech Museum of Innovation's galleries and IMAX are $9, $8 and $7 each for general admission, seniors and children, respectively. Combo tickets (galleries and one IMAX film) are available for $16, $15, $13 for general admission, seniors and children, respectively. Starting in April 2004, The Tech is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. About The Tech Museum of Innovation Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Silicon Valley, Calif., The Tech Museum of Innovation, a non-profit organization, engages people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing the technologies affecting their lives and aims to inspire the young to become innovators in the technologies of the future. For more information, visit www.thetech.org or call (408) 294-TECH.