press & News

Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code to open at RMSC Friday, Jan. 26

    ROCHESTER, NY—It is in every living thing on Earth. It is the complete set of instructions that is needed for every living thing to grow and function. It can help visitors unlock the secrets of their past and reveal the path to their future. It is the genome.

    The Smithsonian Institution’s state-of-the-art exhibition about genomic science—created in partnership with the National Institutes of Health—Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code, runs Friday, Jan. 26–Sunday, April 29, 2018, at the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC).

    Conceived to celebrate the anniversaries of two landmark scientific discoveries—the 10th anniversary of the Human Genome Project’s completion and the 60th anniversary of the discovery of DNA’s double-helical structure by Drs. James Watson and Francis Crick—the exhibition examines the complexities of the genome—the complete set of genetic or hereditary material of a living organism—and chronicles the remarkable breakthroughs that have taken place since the completion of the Human Genome Project. With cutting-edge interactives, 3D models, custom animations, and engaging videos of real-life stories, the exhibition examines both the benefits and the challenges that genomics presents to modern society.

    From the moment visitors enter Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code, they will find themselves immersed in an interactive, futuristic environment that communicates the revolutionary nature of genomics. The exhibition offers a window into genomes that provides new ways of looking at oneself as an individual, a member of a family and a species, and as part of the diversity of life on Earth.

    Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code is organized around three galleries where visitors can become immersed in personalized and interactive 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. Within each alcove, numerous topics are explored through the latest imagery on genomics, hands-on and multimedia interactives, videos, and other engaging content. Through examples of how genome science can affect life in ordinary and extraordinary ways, visitors will also come to learn how genomics can affect perspectives about health, identity, and the place of humans in the natural world.

    “This exhibition reflects a remarkably productive collaboration between components of two scientific icons of the U.S. government—the Smithsonian Institution and the National Institutes of Health,” said Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “Our ability to showcase the science of genomics to the roughly 7 million annual visitors of the National Museum of Natural History is profoundly exciting for the broader genomics research community.

    Visitors will also be able to browse the Genome Discovery Center, where they can visit with RMSC’s four new geckos and learn how genetics are used by breeders to create designer pets, get hands-on with the experiment of the day and/or activities from RMSC’s experiment library, discover how RMSC’s collections have helped scientists gain new insights, and learn why zoological collections are important to scientific research.

    Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code was made possible in part by financial support secured by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

    Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code and related programming are free with regular museum admission: $15 adults, $14 seniors and college students with ID, $13 ages 3 to 18, free for children under 3 and RMSC members. For group reservations and rates, call 585.697.1942.

    For high-resolution images and additional information, contact Mare Millow, Marketing Communications Manager, RMSC, 585.697.1944,

    National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is one of the 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health. NHGRI supports the development of resources and technology that will accelerate genome research and its application to human health. A critical part of the NHGRI mission continues to be the study of the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of genome research. NHGRI also supports the training of investigators and the dissemination of genome information to the public and to health professionals. Additional information about NHGRI can be found at its website,

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

    The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s preeminent museum and research complex. The museum is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collections, exhibitions, education outreach programs and digital resources. NMNH is the largest natural history museum in the world with more than 127 million science specimens and cultural artifacts. As one of the world’s great repositories of scientific and cultural heritage it is a source of tremendous pride for all Americans. For more information, visit

    Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.