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The Scripps Research Institute to Host X-Sci/2000, A Celebration of Science in the New Millennium

La Jolla, CA. December 17, 1999 -- More than 1,200 San Diego high school students and high school science teachers are expected to attend X-Sci/2000, a Celebration of Science in the New Millennium, at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) on January 7, 2000, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. This one-day science festival will feature interactive exhibits, science demonstrations, a bio-art gallery, opportunities for one- on-one discussions with students and biomedical researchers, and tours of more than 20 research laboratories and specialized instrumentation facilities.

According to William H. Beers, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, "The purpose of this event is to highlight and stimulate students' interest in the remarkable progress of science in the 20th century, the enormous benefits of scientific discovery to our everyday lives and the tremendous potential of scientific achievement in the future."

In addition to showcasing scientific innovations and explaining how science contributes to economic growth and pervades everyday life, X-Sci/2000 will provide detailed information on opportunities for students to pursue academic and professional careers in bioscience.

At the event, area students will interact with scientists who are recognized internationally in their specific fields of study, as well as with postdoctoral fellows, graduate students pursuing their Ph.D.s in science, research technicians, and research support personnel.

To ensure that the students receive the maximum educational benefits from X-Sci/2000, corresponding curricular materials have been prepared by San Diego High School science teacher, Judy Heitz, and distributed to all teachers throughout the county who will bring students to X-Sci/2000 next month.

A focal point of the event will be a series of activities to be displayed in the atrium of The Beckman Center for Chemical Sciences, located on TSRI's campus in La Jolla. These "bio-workbenches" will engage students with demonstrations and exhibits of:

Divide and Conquer: A selection of laboratory apparatus and computers sets the stage for introducing the basics of approaching research in cell biology. Sections of the workbench are divided into specific areas that look progressively more closely at organ cells, organelles and proteins. Cellular structures are examined at varying degrees of magnification.

Bioluminescence: Understanding Nature's 24-Hour Clocks With Glow-in-the-Dark Organisms: The goal of this workbench is to illustrate how a gene that makes fireflies glow is used by scientists to discover how biological clocks tick. The exhibit consists of three stations which introduce luciferase technology, provide a live demonstration of data collection from glowing experimental organisms, and explain how researchers use these data to understand the mechanism of the 24-hour circadian clock. The workbench will demonstrate the application of state-of-the-art technology to scientific problems, leading to a better understanding of the world in which we live.

Drug Development: A group of models, activity materials, samples, images and equipment will be arrayed at this workbench with a focus on the complex and arduous process of pharmaceutical development. Scientists will explain the genesis of a research discovery and its subsequent movement through the stages of research, testing, FDA review, clinical trials and arrival to the general public.

DNA and Proteins: This workbench provides a series of visual elements, including models and computer generated images of protein structures. It includes a participatory program activity led by TSRI staff and perfected at The Tech Museum in San Jose DNA Spooling that allows visitors to separate out genes from a cow thymus.

Students from more than 25 local high schools are scheduled to attend the event.

For more information contact:
Office of Communications
10550 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, California 92037