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Genetics: Technology with a Twist

Explore new advances in the field of genetics. Amidst our exhibits you can meet a genetic counselor, learn more about genetic policies and tests, and try on the roles of counselor, scientist, or policy-maker. Listen as patients struggle with decisions about new genetic treatments and join the discussion on ethical issues surrounding the new genetic technologies. This project was supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center For Research Resources, National Institutes of Health. Its content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NCRR or NIH.


Genes Are Like Recipes
How is a stack of 300 cookbooks like your DNA? Both contain recipes and instructions - one to make food and the other to make you! Listen as identical twins - a baker and a geneticist -discuss genetics. Find out how your genes, as well as the choices you make and the life you live, make you the person you are.

 
Genetic Portraits
Five portraits come alive to help you understand how genes affect every individual. A girl who is lactose-intolerant finds out she's the "normal" one. A man struggles with the decision to have a genetic test. Think about how you would feel if you were in their place.
 
Zoom in on a Gene
Follow this video as it zooms in on an eye, one cell, and its nucleus, and into the chromosomes, genes, and DNA that exist in almost every cell in your body.
 
Gene Sequencer
Perhaps you've heard about diseases caused by gene mutations. Have you ever wondered how scientists find them? Use a real DNA sequencer and follow a simulated process to discover a gene mutation.
 
Gene Arrays and Treatment
Scientists use gene arrays to perform thousands of genetic tests quickly. Gene arrays can help doctors predict which treatments are best for their patients. At this exhibit, you can simulate a gene array test used for breast cancer patients.
 
Gene Arrays and Medicine
One of the goals of genetic medicine is to personalize medicine for each patient. Medicine tailored to your genes will work better for you. Here, simulate a gene array test on genetic samples from three patients and help pick the right medicine for each patient.
 
Growing Medicine
How do scientists make complex medicines like human growth hormone? By growing them in bacteria. Follow the story of a real little boy who benefited from this technology.
 
Gene Therapy
Imagine if scientists could fix mistakes in genes and cure diseases. That's what gene therapy is all about. Meet the first patient to receive effective gene therapy and find out how it affected her and her family.
 
Genetic Tests
Find out what genetic tests are available right now to help diagnose disease and predict future health risks.
 
Meet a Genetic Counselor
Families undergoing genetic testing or patients with genetic disorders can turn to experts for guidance and support. Find out what a genetic counselor does. Listen to three real stories of patients and counseling.
 
Newborn Screening
Did you know that each state sets their own standard for screening newborn babies? Some states test for only a few genetic disorders, while other states test for more than 40. Search this United States map for current information on the number of genetic disorders screened in your state.
 
Address the Senate
Take a stand on an important issue about genetics, and present your ideas to policymakers. Choose a topic, face the camera, and give your speech to an audience of applauding dignitaries. Then play it back and see how you did!
 
Pigs-to-People Transplants
Join an interactive demonstration as you express your opinion on a current genetics issue. Pick the message for your sign, have your picture taken, and join the march! Your face will stay in the exhibit until another visitor's face takes its place.
 
Scan your Tech Tag ticket as your membership card throughout the museum to activate various exhibits in Genetics: Technology with a Twist. Collect images, fun facts, and more to put on your personal web page. After your visit, log on to see your web page and find more activities to try at home. There will be more Tech Tag exhibits in the future, so bring your ticket every time you visit.
Genetics: Technology with a Twist