On Thursday, 3rd June, which is also the early stage researchers’ day, an exhibition titled »Our Genome and Us« will be opened at 11 a.m. on the lower floor of the Emporium hall in BTC CITY Ljubljana. The basic aim of the exhibition, which will be open until the end of October, is to present the world of genetic material and scientific discoveries to its visitors in a non-technical and interesting manner and to provide answers to questions related to this topic. For the second consecutive year, the exhibition in BTC was prepared in collaboration with the Slovenian Science Foundation, within the framework of a multi-annual project »Science in BTC CITY«. At the same time, in the year 2010, which is proclaimed to be the International Year of Biodiversity, exactly 100 years have passed since the discovery of the chromosome and gene.

From time immemorial, people have been asking themselves why we are the way we are. Today we know that part of the answer to this perennial question is hidden deep in the interiority of our bodies. We can find a special type of design inside our cells – DNA, which strongly determines our physical and to some extent also our psychological characteristics.

The whole genetic draft of a living being is also known by scientists as a genome. The genetic information is coded in a unique molecule called DNA, which can be found in each cell of our bodies. It is not difficult to imagine that a human genome is an extraordinarily extensive and complex plan. It resembles an architect of genius, orchestrating the emergence of our bodies from a single cell that forms at the moment of our conception and which then manages and watches over the functioning of our bodies throughout our entire lives.

In 2000, scientists succeeded in determining the complete DNA of a human genome, which widely opened the door to the understanding of our genetic structure. Now we begin to comprehend which genes are responsible for our traits such as eye colour, the colour of our hair, or height. Simultaneously, researchers are looking to the genome to find answers to the questions such as why some people are more susceptible to certain diseases, or why certain medicines prove more helpful for some people than others … Our genome conceals numerous riddles and surprises, perhaps one of the greatest being that we can also read in it the stories of our near and remote past. In recent years we have become aware of many new things about nature and the workings of our genetic programme, while we still have to learn a lot about the genome.

BTC CITY Ljubljana is the largest business, shopping, recreational, amusement and cultural centre in Slovenia and is one of the largest centres of this kind in Europe. With numerous exhibitions it wishes to contribute to the cultural life of the city and the education of its visitors.

Additional information:

BTC d.d., Maja Oven, director of the Market Communication and Public Relations Sector; telephone: 01 585 13 00, e-mail: maja.oven@btc.si