Have you ever extracted DNA?!

How do scientists use simple creatures to understand people?

The many answers to that question can be appreciated by people of all ages, who are invited by the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) to watch cells divide, to see their DNA, and to try cool tools used by real scientists.

Institute for Systems Biology :: Life Sciences Research Weekend 2010 :: Photo by Mohini Patel Glanz

“Have you extracted DNA before?” asks a volunteer, drawing people into the conversation and in fact, you can extract DNA right at the ISB table.

Institute for Systems Biology :: Life Sciences Research Weekend 2010 :: Photo by Mohini Patel Glanz

Kids might try a roll of the genetic dice, or take home an activity called “Harry Potter and the Genetic Code.”

With ISB’s multimedia — videos and slideshows on multiple laptops — cell division is beautiful and fascinating.

Institute for Systems Biology :: Life Sciences Research Weekend 2010 :: Photo by Mohini Patel Glanz

Adults especially have a lot to click through and investigate in this area and several researchers stand ready to answer questions.

About the Institute for Systems Biology

The Institute for Systems Biology was co-founded in 2000 by Alan Aderem, Ruedi Aebersold, and Leroy Hood. In just 10 years it has grown to more than 300 staff members, including 13 faculty members and their laboratory groups. This pioneering approach to the study of biological systems takes place in the institute’s 65,000-square-foot facility in Seattle.

Building a new kind of research institute — one that can tackle the multi-disciplinary challenges of systems biology – requires a strategy that itself integrates many sciences including biology, chemistry, physics, computation, mathematics and medicine. Because the field of systems biology requires the seamless integration of these disciplines, ISB has developed a philosophy, an environment, and an administrative structure that transcends traditional organizational and disciplinary barriers. Scientists collaborate across their specialties to leverage knowledge and expertise with others at the Institute and in academia and industry.

By Brian Glanz for NWABR. Please reuse and remix! We share with a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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