Life Technologies Commits $3 Million to Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

The Life Technologies Foundation has pledged $3 million to the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of Natural History in support of an exhibit marking the tenth anniversary of the Human Genome Project, the Associated Press reports.

The gift and an additional $500,000 raised by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health will support an interactive display being developed by NMNH in partnership with the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Scheduled to open in 2013, the exhibit will expose visitors to the future of genomics and a broad range of themes associated with the genomics revolution, including major breakthroughs in genomic science; cutting-edge work in genomically guided drug therapies for application in personalized medicine; and ethical, legal, and social issues related to advances in the field. After a year at the NMNH, the exhibit will tour nationally and internationally.

Launched in 1990 to map the six billion base pairs in a single human genome, the Human Genome Project was an international effort that laid the foundation for better understanding of the role genetics play in health and disease. Life Technologies provided DNA sequencing instruments for the landmark project, which was completed in 2003.

"We are at an inflection point in the history of biology," said Life Technologies chairman and CEO Gregory T. Lucier. "What science has taught us about genomics in the last ten years will undoubtedly be dwarfed by the revolutionary advancements to come."