Exhibiting genetic news

June 30, 2000

Most of the world's press left the Sanger Centre's human genome press briefing with notes, recorded sound-bites and VT clips.

But Nicola Perrin returned to the Science Museum in London with key parts of the scientists' sequencing equipment and a box stuffed with genetic data from chromosome one.

And as journalists strove to turn around reports to deadline, Ms Perrin was doing exactly the same, except what she produced, within a week, was an exhibit in the Antenna section of the new Wellcome Wing.

The genome display was ready the day the story hit the front pages. But if you want to see the insides of a real sequencer and a tiny fraction of the raw data it helped produce, you have less than a month. The aim is to report the very latest science, and even to break news, and not to be afraid to cast rapidly dating exhibits aside.

In this way, the Pounds 50 million venture, backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Wellcome Trust, intends to be the world's leading centre for the public presentation of contemporary science.

With its giant Imax cinema, motion simulator ride, video screen and hands-on displays, the Wellcome Wing places a heavy emphasis on interacting with, as well as engaging the imagination of, the visitor.

The Wellcome Wing at the Science Museum opens to the public on July 3.

Details:http://www.sciencemuseum. org.uk

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