The DNA Discovery Center – Chicago, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

The DNA Discovery Center

At Chicago's revered Field Museum, visitors are invited to learn about and literally explore DNA. 


The Field Museum of Natural History has long been known as a world-class museum for the history of life itself. But now cutting-edge DNA research into the future of life can be added to the list.

You’ve seen it films, in promotional stills, and for most people who have visited Chicago, probably in person. Chicago’s famous Field Museum, with its grand halls fully stocked with impressive exhibits that tower above the bustling crowds, like an African Elephant reared back on its hind legs or the iconic T-Rex skeleton that has long been the crown jewel of the museum, is famous for its focus on history.

But recently, the Field Museum has turned its focus to the cutting edge of natural science.

Enter the DNA Discovery Center, a permanent exhibition that acts first and foremost as a functioning DNA research laboratory, where dozens of scientists work every day to sequence genomes and explore the very building blocks of life.

Visitors are invited to experience the entire process – both the actual science as it takes place and the results of DNA research. People can explore what exactly DNA sequencing means, what it looks like when visualized, and how that science helps improve the lives of countless species, including humans.

Thus, the Field Museum has started to gaze into the future of life, because as DNA research becomes more and more complex and advanced, the more scientists can solve problems, predict results, and visualize what’s coming for any number of types of life.

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April 24, 2013

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