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The Human Genome Hits New York!

The Human Genome Hits New York!

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By and
Updated on Jul 6, 2007

Ever wonder what your children will look like when they grow up? Or your children's children? Maybe your kids have, too. Strange as it may seem, the human genome, while complicated, could be just the tool you need to combat moans about science homework. That is, if you can explain it in terms kids can understand.

The New York Hall of Science brings genetics to life with the exhibit, Genome: The Secret of How Life Works. Open February 3 through May 6, the exhibit's goal is to help bring a complicated scientific concept to life – introducing children to the history of genome mapping, the importance of the undertaking, and its impact on mankind.

Pretty heady stuff. The good news is, the museum does it in a fun, interactive manner, engaging children through hands-on activities and displays.

From an 8-foot-tall, 25-foot-long double helix, to unfolding drama on the big screen, this is science made cool. Kids can test the odds that their children will inherit certain characteristics by pulling the handle of a hereditary slot machine. Or they can head on over to The Cookie Factory for a mouthwatering lesson in DNA "ingredients" that "make" a human being.

Dr. Thomas G. Turi, senior research scientist with Pfizer Global Research and Development, a company that helped sponsor the exhibit, says it's high time for a family-friendly introduction to the topic. "The genome is central to medical research and future medical breakthroughs. However, in a national survey sponsored by Pfizer Inc., only 1percent of respondents said they would feel comfortable using the word "genome" in a sentence. Even if science isn't your comfort zone, it's never too early to teach kids how it matters.

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