Exhibition & More

The DNALC has displayed exhibitions since its inception, beginning with the Smithsonian Institution's The Search for Life, which ran from 1988 until 1992. Our first in-house exhibition, Story of a Gene (1995-2001), included a wall to ceiling mural of the interior of a cell and was a favorite stop for visiting middle-school classes. We have also developed smaller exhibitions about DNA fingerprinting, the Nobel Prize and the Lasker Award, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Barbara McClintock. The BioMedia Addition, completed in 2001, nearly doubled gallery size, just enough to mount our second major in-house exhibition, The Genes We Share.

We now feature Ötzi the Iceman and ancient human ancestors in the main gallery space and displays on genetics and inheritance are under development in the rear gallery.

The 104-seat Joan & Arthur M. Spiro Auditorium (a multimedia facility) contains audio and visual equipment for virtually any type of presentation. The first presentation developed for the auditorium, Long Island Discovery, was shown from 1993 to June 2016. Visitors can see DNA: The Secret of Life about the discovery of the structure of DNA.

*Please note that the exhibit is under renovation. While Otzi the Iceman and the BOLD exhibit are still available for visitors to view, other parts of the exhibit are currently under construction.

Ötzi the Iceman

The DNALC worked with the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology to make two 3D replicas of the Ötzi mummy; one is installed at the DNALC in Cold Spring Harbor and the other in the future DNALC in NYC. These will be the only authorized replicas of Ötzi outside of the South Tyrol Museum.

We are excited to offer guided tours of the Ötzi the Iceman exhibition led by DNALC educators. Hear Ötzi's story and find out what we have learned about Neolithic times from studying his body, clothing, and equipment. Visit our museum page for more information and to purchase tickets.

Art Exhibit: BOLD, the barcode of life

BOLDBOLD (named for the acronym for the Barcode of Life Data Systems), is an art exhibition on DNA barcoding displayed in the front and side halls of the DNALC. Seattle-based artist, Joseph Rossano, partnered with biologists to engage the public around the science of DNA barcoding and how it is being used to catalog the world's vast and threatened biodiversity.

The work is inspired by specimens barcoded by Daniel Janzen from the Area de Concervación Guanacaste (ACG) in Costa Rica and by researchers for the UC Berkeley Moorea Biocode Project being carried out at the Richard B. Gump South Pacific Research Station in Moorea. All of the pieces deliberately represent the specimens as fuzzy, obscured, or out of scale, making it difficult to identify the organism. However, on closer inspection the viewer discovers that each piece includes the DNA barcode sequence and a link to the BOLD database, where the species identity is revealed. This underscores the reality that identifying species with certainty requires more than taxonomic methods. Our educators have developed interpretive activities for visiting students, many of whom take part in a barcoding laboratory during their visit.


DNA: The Secret of Life

This 32-minute presentation combines stunning animations and visual effects to chronicle the story of James Watson and Francis Crick's discovery of the DNA structure. Their 1953 discovery changed biology and has far-reaching impacts and implications for science research and human health and genetics. DNA: The Secret of Life will be shown upon request to DNALC visitors.

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