Genetics: Unlock the Code

Discover what makes you, well … you!

You are 99.9 percent identical to the person standing next to you. GENETICS: UNLOCK THE CODE helps visitors discover the science and wonder behind that fraction of a percent. Through interactive discovery, you’ll gain a better understanding of the human genome — the set of instructions that tells your body’s cells how to operate. Genetics is what makes you, well … you!

  • At the DNA Dance-Off!, hop on an interactive floor to make keratin DNA. See the code — and your results — on a massive LED wall. Compete with others or challenge yourself in the world’s first genetic dance-off.
  • Copy yourself in the Duplication Station — a photo booth with a twist. How will you interact with your group of clones?
  • What would you look like with black curly hair and dimples? Try-a-Trait is an augmented reality experience that lets you explore what you’d look like with different inherited traits.
  • Test your knowledge in the Genetics Quiz, using body motion to select answers.
  • In Genes and You, an interactive book tells the amazing story of you. Flip the pages and watch the story unfold on the screen in front of you.
  • Stick out your tongue, smile and check your earlobes and hairline at the Trait Tree. Follow the directions to discover how many share your same traits.
  • DNA’s Double Helix — the most recognizable symbol in genetics— has a starring role, at the entrance and unwinding throughout the exhibit.
  • Walk under the giant, lighted Chromosome 17. Each chromosome contains thousands of our genes; learn about some of them here.
  • Explore the visual world of genetics at the Spin Browser. Spin the dial to speed up or slow down videos of DNA, mitosis, twins and more.
  • From regenerating worms to birds that can’t sing, learn crazy but true facts about animal genetics in Genetics in the Wild.
  • We share 99.9 percent of our genetic code with other humans. But we also share 85 percent with cows. At Genes in Common, guess how much we are like other species.
  • A baby gets half its chromosomes from its mother and half from its father. So is it a boy or a girl? Make a prediction and press a pop-o-matic dome to explore a Matter of Chance.
  • Will you Find Your Future in genetics? Investigate jobs by watching videos of young professionals to guess their career.
  • Explore a geneticist’s Picture of Us — the karyotype — and take a closer look at six genetic conditions.
  • How can a genetic condition make One Big Impact on muscle strength? Lift two backpacks to see the difference. In Muscle Bound, twist a cylinder to show the science behind the change.
  • Read the stories on the Just Like You column to better understand a day in the life of local young people with Down syndrome, sickle cell disease, hemophilia and cystic fibrosis.
  • Genetics is a small, small world. Peer into digital Microscopes to explore chromosomes, blood cells, muscle fibers and more.
  • Your body has more than 37 trillion cells, and each one has everything needed to copy itself. Learn all about What’s Inside Our Cells.
Genetics: Unlock the Code

“The teamwork on which the project depends and the critical thinking skills you’re taught and use cannot be paralleled anywhere else.”
Kay Hansen, Mission Trail Elementary