Museum of Science and Industry

Genetics and the Baby Chick Hatchery

Outstanding Resources

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Genetic Science Learning Center
With simple, colorful graphics and fascinating examples from current scientific work, this website provides an overview of topics from DNA basics to the complexities of of-the-moment medical research.


Genetics for Dummies

Tara R. Robinson, For Dummies Books, 2005
Learn the fundamentals of genetic science and how genetic understanding is being applied to medicine, forensics, and more.

The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA
James Watson, New American Library, 1968
Hear from Watson himself about how he and Francis Crick raced to find the structure of DNA, and explore the scientific process behind this famous discovery.

A Short Guide to the Human Genome
Stewart Scherer, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2008
Explore how many genes humans have, how the DNA functions, and what exactly a genome is through the question-and-answer format of this introduction to the human genome.

Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters
Matt Ridley, Harper Collins, 1999
Uncover the genome’s role in human history and our future, and how the sequencing of the human genome impacts scientific, philosophical, and moral questions.

Abraham Lincoln's DNA and Other Adventures in Genetics
Philip Reilly, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2002
Twenty-four true stories dealing with crime, health, history, and ethics illustrate the basics of genetics and the broader ways genetic science influences our society.

The Genes We Share With Yeast, Flies, Worms, and Mice: New Clues to Human Health and Disease
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2003
Explore how humans are genetically related to many of the animals featured in the Genetics exhibit, and how research on these species has contributed to human health.

The Selfish Gene
Richard Dawkins, Oxford UP, 2006
Originally published in 1976, Dawkin’s classic today remains an excellent source for understanding altruism and evolution, all from the viewpoint of DNA.

The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance
Nessa Carey, Columbia University Press, 2012
Discover how the new field of epigenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of how the environment interacts with DNA, from scientific fundamentals to interesting case examples.

Future Perfect: Confront Decisions About Genetics
Lori Andrews, Columbia University Press, 2001
Take a look at the scientific, moral, political, and legal questions brought up by genetic testing, and explore how these issues are affecting individuals and society at large in the 21st century.

Genetic Testing: Care, Consent, and Liability
Neil Sharpe and Ronald Carter, John Wiley & Sons, 2006
This overview, intended for health professionals, discusses the legal and ethical issues of genetic testing alongside the scientific uses and results these tests provide today.


Museum of Science + Industry’s Exhibit
Extend your visit by watching a video of baby chicks hatching or finding genetics-related activities you can do at home on the museum’s Genetics: Decoding Life webpage.

National Human Genome Research Institute:
Full of information on current research as well as health, educational, and ethical issues, this National Institutes of Health website reports on the cutting edge of genomic science.

DNA Learning Center:
Discover hands-on programs, media resources, and links to numerous educational websites from the DNA Learning Center, part of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. 

Center for Disease Control’s Office of Public Health Genomics:
Dive into genetics-related health issues, from the role of family medical history, to genomic testing, to autism, cancer, and mental health topics.

National Genographic Project:
Through stunning graphics and photographs, explore human migration and how researchers today are using genetic science to reveal our ancient history.

National Institutes of Health Roadmap Epigenomics Project:
Intended for the scientific community, this NIH site reveals cutting-edge epigenomics research and ongoing projects across the country.

Nature’s ENCODE Explorer:
Learn what has been discovered by the ENCODE project on functional genomic elements and what scientists are currently pursuing in this site intended for a scientific audience.

For Educators

Genetic Science Learning Center Educator Guide:
The companion to Learn.Genetics, this site provides a wealth of lesson plans, supplemental materials, activity guides, and more on genetics topics ranging from cell basics to epigenetics.

DNAi Teacher’s Guide:
In additional to educational genetics information, this site provides a guide for a unit of genetics material, including teacher resources and student worksheets.

University of Leicester’s Virtual Genetics Education Centre:
This site groups genetics material both by topic and age, offering teachers targeted resources for students under 11, and from 11-14,14-16, and 16-18.

Society of Biology’s Genetic Resources for Teachers and Students:
This site offers instructions, resources, and supporting materials for genetics-related classroom games and activities.

Inside Cancer’s Teacher Center:
Focusing on cancer genomics, this website provides tools for developing classroom presentations in line with national standards as well as already-built lesson plans and activities.

Genomics Network Educational Tools:
This website provides guides for running larger workshops on issues pertaining to the ethical issues surrounding embryo research, including presentation materials and discussion prompts.

Museum Hours
  • Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas
More Information

Museum Location
Museum of Science+Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
1 (773) 684-1414
Getting Here

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