Sea of Genes
Explore ocean life on a whole new level in Sea of Genes

Sea of Genes

Now through April 8, 2007 

Get down with DNA

Your journey begins with DNA, the master molecule of life. Through the exhibit's interactive displays, visitors will discover how to read DNA's secret code. Dance a DNA sequence and build a mystery protein. See how many genes you have in common with a sea squirt. Find out why a pufferfish might save your life and probe the genetic secrets of some of the ocean's oldest and tiniest forms of life.

Genomes and GenesGenome Dance

The science of genomics seeks to elucidate the very essence of life. At its most basic level, genomic research is focused on deciphering an organism's genome, the master recipe book that builds a living organism and determines how it functions. Thousands of individual instructions, called genes, are contained in the genome.

Public awareness of genetics skyrocketed due to the Human Genome Project. The complete sequencing of the human genome-or genetic blueprint-after 13 years of intensive work, was a major scientific breakthrough. Important benefits for human health will be derived in the years ahead as scientists learn more about the thousands of instructions, called genes, contained in the genome, and the role they play in diseases like cancer, arthritis, and cystic fibrosis.

Mapping the Genomes of Marine Organisms

Applying technologies developed and refined through the Human Genome Project, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography are mapping the genomes of a variety of marine organisms and using the information to understand how the organisms survive and interact with their environment. Studies range from revealing the sheer abundance and identities of tiny ocean microbes that have an enormous effect on the global environment to understanding how marine organisms survive exposure to toxins, produce powerful antibiotics, or engineer intricate internal structures, useful in nanotechnology.

Sea of Genes is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to Scripps Institution of Oceanography marine biologist Brian Palenik and co-investigator Ian Paulsen at The Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Maryland.

SIGN UP FOR THE AQUARIUM E-NEWSLETTER feeling the heat sea of genes hall of fishes coral displays tidepool art of deception