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New “Cellular Journey” Exhibition to Open at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Visitors to Explore Cells of the Human Body and Stem Cells

February 15, 2011

Boy uses micropipette to sort tagged cells

The Clardy family plays "Cellular Pinball" in an attempt to sort embryonic cells in the body's natural pathways

SAN DIEGO, Calif., February 15, 2011 – The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center presents an all-new exhibition designed to introduce visitors to human cell biology, the importance of stem cells, and the potential impact of stem cells on medical research in the fields of regenerative and personalized medicine. “Cellular Journey” opens at the Fleet Science Center on Saturday, March 19, 2011.

“Cellular Journey” is a one of a kind, Fleet created and community developed project made possible by a grant from the Life Technologies Foundation, a non-profit arm of Life Technologies Corporation based in Carlsbad, California. “Cellular Journey” features a handful of interactive exhibits, including a cellular “fly through” where visitors can step aboard a motion activated scooter to take a virtual tour inside of a human cell.

“From Tissues to Cells,” one interactive exhibit, allows visitors to use a microscope to examine various human tissue samples including epithelial tissue, connective tissue, muscle tissue and nerve tissue. At this exhibit, visitors will see that each type of cell has a specific function, and that its job determines how the cell is structured and how it works.

Visitors will also be able to “Journey Inside a Cell,” using a unique virtual reality concept to explore what it is like inside a human cell. The fly-through will allow visitors to examine the cellular universe within the human body in-depth by venturing into specific parts of a cell. Another interactive will allow visitors to launch a “stem cell” on its path to become a specific type of cell.

Visitors will also learn about the three basic types of stem cells – embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) to examine where they come from, why they are important and how they are used. “An important component of this exhibition is educating the public about stem cells and the role they can play in the future of medicine and scientific advancement,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kirsch, Executive Director of the Fleet Science Center.

A realistic lab display will introduce visitors to the layout and functions of a typical stem cell research lab. Additional hands-on activities will let visitors explore some of the real life techniques scientists use in the lab when working with stem cells. Visitors will also be presented with the latest information regarding how stem cells are used in research, future areas of research, and the potential risks and challenges, in addition to the controversy surrounding this evolving field of science. After being given the opportunity to examine a variety of reliable and balanced information on stem cell research, visitors will be asked to share their own viewpoint at “Your Opinion Matters.”

Produced by Reuben H. Fleet Science Center staff and community partners, “Cellular Journey” is being introduced as part of the Fleet Science Center’s permanent collection. “There is an amazing amount of research on stem cells being done right here in the San Diego region and we are thrilled to be able to present this topic to a wide audience,” said Paul Siboroski, Exhibits Director and project manager for “Cellular Journey.” The Fleet Science Center plans to incorporate material from the new exhibition into areas of focus for future public lectures led by local scientific leaders.

About the Life Technologies Foundation

The Life Technologies Foundation™ is dedicated to advancing science education and changing perspectives on how the application of biology can address societal needs. In particular, the Foundation supports programs that accelerate the adoption and understanding of genomics in healthcare; projects that advance life science education among today's youth through innovative community-based or national programs; and initiatives focused on providing biological solutions to some of society's most pressing challenges. By teaming with educators and researchers, the Foundation strives to demystify the world of life science and empower today’s children to become tomorrow’s scientific leaders. Launched in 2008, the Life Technologies Foundation has committed approximately $11 million to causes that advance the understanding and applicationsof science. The Foundation is a non-profit arm of Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:LIFE), a global biotechnology tools company dedicated to improving the human condition. For more information or to submit a grant proposal, please visit www.lifetechnologies.com/foundation.


About the Fleet Science Center

The Fleet Science Center connects people of all ages to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future. At the science center, you can explore and investigate more than 100 interactive exhibits that pique your curiosity and become immersed in an IMAX film adventure that shows the wonders of the planet--and beyond--in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. For young science enthusiasts, the Fleet hosts school field trips, science workshops and educational camps. For adults, we offer events like Fleet Night of Science and community events, such as Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar. In the community, we also provide free neighborhood science events weekly through 52 Weeks of Science. Teachers are encouraged to join our Teacher Partner Program and take advantage of our professional development opportunities. Additionally, at the Fleet Science Center, visitors will find unique educational toys and games, books, IMAX DVDs and more in the North Star Science Store, and pizzas, sandwiches, salads and healthy treats in Craveology. Located in Balboa Park, at 1875 El Prado, two blocks south of the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd., the Fleet is San Diego's science center. Science starts here and opens a world of possibility.For information regarding current admission prices, please call (619) 238-1233 or visit our website at fleetscience.org.