Sure, The Smithsonian Might Be Shutdown, But That’s No Reason You Can’t See the Genomics Exhibit

So what if you can’t get into the Smithsonian? Cuz I take pictures so you don’t have to. The Natural History Museum has a temporary exhibit, “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” that’s pretty good. If you’re in the genomics biz, it won’t tell you anything you don’t already know, but it’s still pretty good. Anyway, pictures! (accompanied by my own unique perspective). The entrance:

Brought to you by:

Life Technologies is one of the underwriters, along with the Brin Wojcicki Foundation (wonder how that’s going to work down the road…). One point the exhibition makes is that genomes are different sizes, and that has little to do with organismal complexity (which, of course, is its own basket of cats):

See, different sizes!

Comparative genomics, I HAZ EM!:

FOXP2 mutations make Tweetie not tweet so good:

Stickleback genomics–with bonus preserved sticklebacks! Sticklebacks are a model evolutionary system as they have repeatedly adapted to freshwater, making each lake a ‘separate experiment’:

Ooh! Look! Vaporware! (the Minion flash drive-sized sequencer, which doesn’t exist even though too many credulous science reporters write as if it does):

Got Milk? The genomics of lactose intolerance:

A sequencer:

Visually exciting as a microwave oven. Anyway, there’s a bit about cancer genomes:

Speaking of cancer, this bit about lung cancer and genetic risk was very well done:

But enough about humans, let’s get to the interesting part…microbes! As you might imagine, the microbiome is featured:

But this made the Mad Biologist cry:

Of course, there’s more to microbiology than just the microbiome. We got E. coli!

Seems vaguely familiar…. A cute exhibit about drug resistance in HIV (though ‘cute’ probably is the wrong word):

Chagas disease:

The perpetrators–kissing bugs:

Don’t seem very kissable to me. Visualizing the human genome:

My data is never in such a nice font. Finally, kickin’ it old school:

Anyway, it’s a good exhibit for people who don’t know much (or anything) about genomics.

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