‘Unlocking Life’s Code’
Genome Exhibition Pieces Now on Display at NIH
Several pieces of the Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code exhibition are now on display on NIH’s Bethesda campus.
The exhibition is a collaboration between the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). It opened in 2013 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) and the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA.
Following a roughly 15-month stay at NMNH, the exhibit traveled throughout North America, visiting history museums and science centers in 12 states and Canada, for an additional nine years. It returned to NMNH for its final public viewing in 2022.
The installation examines the complexities of genomes—particularly the human genome—and chronicles the remarkable breakthroughs that have taken place since HGP completion in 2003. It highlights both the benefits and challenges that genomics brings to modern society.
When the exhibit closed in 2022, NHGRI took possession of several of its prominent pieces, relocating them to the NIH campus. Those pieces are now on display in the following locations:
- Where It All Began
Bldg. 10, Rm. 1L-25 (NIH Library)
Learn about HGP history, timeline, challenges and achievements.
- You’re a Superorganism!
Bldg. 31, 2C Elevator Lobby
Explore how microorganisms and your microbiome affect your health and influence your risk for many disorders.
- What Genomics Might Mean for You
Bldg. 31, 3C Elevator Lobby
Discover how scientists unraveled the code of DNA and completed the first human genome sequence.
- What’s in Your Genome?
Bldg. 31, 4C Elevator Lobby
Explore the human genome—the three-billion-part instruction manual written in the twisting, ladder-shaped molecule known as DNA.
- What’s Your Risk?
Bldg. 31, 5C Elevator Lobby
Learn about health risk factors; genes make a difference, but how much of a difference depends on many factors—including lifestyle choices, diet, environment and age.