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Gene-sis (DNArt): Human DNA is not GRAS

Gene(sis): The traveling exhibition, “Contemporary Art Explores Human Genomics”, showcases powerful new artwork created in direct response to recent developments in human genomics. The art exhibition features some 50 artworks inspired by progress in human genetics and the completion of the human genome project. Gene(sis) seeks to encourage public discourse and deeper understanding of genomics and its potential impact on our everyday lives.

Interestingly, one of the displays was vetoed by a panel of bio-safety reviewers at the University of Washington in Seattle. While viewing the proposed art piece, audiences would have received “sacramental” beer and wafers spiked with human DNA. This was nixed because the human DNA is not FDA approved or a GRAS substance. However, we can celebrate the completion of rice genome sequencing by having beer and wafers spiked with rice DNA, as plant DNA is GRAS.

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