– Journal photos by Jordan Wald.
Guests gathered at McWane Science Center on Jan. 19 to celebrate the opening of an exhibit on genomic science, presented in partnership with UAB Medicine.
“Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” is the first state-of-the-art exhibit about genomic science, according to the Smithsonian Institution, which created the exhibit in partnership with the National Institutes of Health.
The exhibit will be open to the public through May 19.
It examines the complexities of the genome – the complete set of genetic or hereditary material of a living organism – and chronicles breakthroughs that have taken place since the completion of the Human Genome Project more than a decade ago, according to a press release from McWane.
The exhibit will feature cutting-edge interactives, 3D models, custom animations and videos of real-life stories showcasing the benefits and the challenges that genomics presents to modern society.
“Genomic research is a vital tool for exploring the mysteries of the natural world,” said Kirk Johnson, sant director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code will help visitors understand how genomics is transforming what we know about ourselves and how we make important life decisions.”
Organized around three galleries, the exhibit will provide experiences that explore what a genome is, how it relates to medicine and health and how it connects humans to all life on the planet.
“As the state’s leader in genomic medicine, UAB is thrilled to sponsor this exhibit and share it with the city of Birmingham and state of Alabama,” said Dr. Bruce R. Korf, chief genomics officer at UAB and co-director of the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative. “We hope this exhibit will help visitors to understand the role that the genomic science plays in health and disease and motivate the young people of Alabama to consider genomic medicine as a potential career path.”