Clemson launches S.C. DNA Learning Center

CLEMSON -- Clemson University has teamed up with the nation's leading genetics learning center to help S.C. students and teachers understand the far-reaching impact genetics will have on the future.

Clemson Provost Doris R. Helms and David A. Micklos, executive director of the Dolan DNA Learning Center in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., announced the creation of the South Carolina DNA Learning Center.

"The mission of the Dolan DNA Learning Center is to prepare students and families to thrive in the gene age," said Micklos. "We envision a day when all elementary students are exposed to principles of genetics and disease risk; when all high school students have the opportunity to do hands-on experiments with DNA; and when all families have access to genetic information they need to make informed health care choices. The center at Clemson will serve South Carolina, preparing students and families for the future."

The S.C. center will be located in Jordan Hall on the Clemson campus. Robert E. Ballard, professor in biological sciences, will be director.

"If all goes well with renovations, we would like to begin bringing middle and high school students to campus during the academic year for a half-day workshop in genetics and biotechnology in the spring 2005," said Ballard.

Helms announced the center April 22 at the dedication of the university's Biosystems Research Complex. The campus building and greenhouses are high-tech laboratories for scientists researching biotechnology. Combining diverse fields, including molecular genetics, biology, chemistry and engineering, biotechnology holds the promise of providing an array of benefits in medicine, new materials and environmental sustainability.

"Genetic literacy is essential to help us better manage our own health and our family's health and to understand the life-science issues affecting our lives and livelihoods," said Helms, a biologi

Contact: Peter Kent
Clemson University

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