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The Smithsonian Is Bringing Back Its Popular Genome Exhibit

The genetics showcase is returning to DC after a six-year countrywide tour.

Photo courtesy of The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

The Smithsonian’s popular genome exhibition, “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code,” is back at the National Museum of Natural History on Thursday after a six-year tour of North America.

The 4,400-square-foot exposition will once again take visitors on a journey through the genetic blueprint behind the human body. The exhibit will feature all four themed areas from the original showing, teaching visitors the background behind genes, how they affect our health, how they appear in other species, and what they say about our ancestry.

Included are interactive pieces, 3D models, custom animations, and video footage that showcase the genomic revolution’s influence on people’s lives, science, medicine, and nature.

The exhibit was born out of a partnership between the Smithsonian and the National Institutes of Health’s National Human Genome Research Institute, and found its first home at the Museum of National History in 2013. It came just a decade after all the genes in the human body were identified and sequenced and six decades after geneticists James Watson and Francis Crick first reported DNA’s double-helix structure.

After a 14-month long showing, “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” went on a North American tour before coming back to the Smithsonian, where will remain on view at the museum until summer 2022.

Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

The National Museum of Natural History is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. 

Zach Bright

Zach joined Washingtonian in October 2021. In the past, he’s written for The Colorado Sun, The Nevada Independent and SRQ Magazine.