“DNA Nanotechnology” is a facilitated, hands-on activity exploring deoxyribonucleic acid, a nanoscale structure that occurs in nature. Visitors extract a sample of DNA from split peas and put it in an Eppendorf tube to take home. They learn that nanoscientists study DNA to understand its biological function, and that they also use it to make other nanoscale materials and devices.
This exhibit introduces new ways of diagnosing and monitoring disease by using nanomaterials. Visitors conduct a lab test by select one of three sick patients and using a real pipette to add the patient’s blood sample to a glass slide (the GreeneChip). An on-screen animation explains what happens at the nanoscale, and the visitor is presented with a diagnosis.
"Exploring Structures - DNA" is a hands-on activity in which visitors create a necklace of wheat germ DNA. They learn that self-assembly is a process by which molecules and cells form themselves into functional structures.