The Life Technologies Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Life Technologies Corporation announced it is the lead sponsor of a planned Smithsonian Institution exhibit to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Human Genome Project – the landmark scientific milestone that opened the door to today's genomic revolution. Scheduled to open in 2013, the interactive display is being developed by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH).
Life Technologies' DNA sequencing instruments played a critical role in the Human Genome Project, an international endeavor launched in 1990 to map the 6 billion base pairs in a single human genome. Completed in 2003, the daring initiative laid the foundation for better understanding the role genetics play in health and disease. Much of what has been learned as a result is now being applied in biomedical research to guide treatment.
"We are at an inflection point in the history of biology. What science has taught us about genomics in the last 10 years will undoubtedly be dwarfed by the revolutionary advancements to come," said Gregory T. Lucier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Life Technologies. "The goal of the Life Technologies Foundation through its lead sponsorship is to educate visitors to this exhibit on the powerful information we can now unlock within their DNA as a result of the Human Genome Project, and the impact it will have in medicine and their daily lives."
The exhibit will expose visitors to the future of genomics and a broad range of themes associated with the genomics revolution, including: major breakthroughs in genomic science such as links between genes and disease; cutting-edge work in genomically guided drug therapies for application in personalized medicine; and ethical, legal and social issues related to advances in the field.
The exhibit will also honor the 60th anniversary of Drs. James Watson and Francis Crick's discovery of the double-helix, the structure that makes up the double-stranded molecules of all DNA. After its has been on display for at least one year at the NMNH, which has more 7 million annual visitors, the exhibit will travel other venues to expand its reach to national and international audiences.