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ORIGINS OF LIFE Debuts SATURDAY, MARCH 16, at the REUBEN H. FLEET SCIENCE CENTER!

The Power of Science and the Beauty of Art Intersect in a New Exhibit! Glass Tubing, Gas Canisters, Bubbling Liquids and Zapping Electricity Form a Working Science Experiment and a Work of Art!

March 11, 2013

Test Tubes in the Origins of Life lab
Origins of Life
Origins of Life - Color Change in Vienna
Origins of Life - Color Change in Vienna
Origins of Life - Night Shot
Origins of Life - Night Shot
Origins of Life - Chemical Components
Origins of Life - Chemical Components
Origins of Life - Lab Test
Origins of Life - Lab Test
Origins of Life - The original experiments
Origins of Life - The original experiments

Celebrate the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center’s 40th Anniversary Year!

 

San Diego, CA—March 11, 2013—The new Origins of Life exhibit will make its debut at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center on Saturday, March 16, 2013, and remain through June 9, 2013. Science and art intersect in the new exhibit, where glass tubing, gas canisters, bubbling liquids and zapping electricity form a working science experiment and a work of art.

 

Origins of Life reimagines the famous experiments carried out by Stanley Miller and Harold Urey at the University of Chicago in the 1950s as a functional art installation. These early experiments simulated the chemical and energetic conditions of the early earth, 4 billion years ago, resulting in the production of a number of organic molecules necessary for the origin of life.

 

What is the science? In 1950, the physicist Harold Urey proposed that it might be possible to recreate the atmosphere of the primordial Earth in a closed container and synthesize organic molecules from inorganic compounds by adding an energy source such as lightning to the mix. A graduate student by the name of Stanley Miller carried out the experiment, producing within days several amino acids—the building blocks of proteins. The Miller-Urey experiment quickly became a scientific and public icon of origins of life experimentation.

 

In this exhibit, we have created an updated version of the apparatus used by Miller. Although the Miller experiment is decades old, new and important variations on it are still being implemented. Variations include using artificial sea water instead of distilled water or running the experiment through multiple cycles to see what complex organic compounds are formed. In the installation on display here, we have mimicked the primordial sea in the reaction flask to see how it interacts with the primordial atmosphere created by gases in the tanks.

 

This live experiment continues the investigation to consider whether changing sea and atmosphere conditions will yield not only amino acids, but nucleic acids, too—the building blocks of genetic information and sources of cellular energy. The staff and a core group of volunteers will be available for interpretation of the exhibit and answering visitors’ questions; and they will also collect actual samples and record data as the experiment is run––a new challenge!

 

Origins of Life is an EAGER (Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research) project to conduct ongoing experiments on the chemical precursors to life. The experiments expand on the earlier work of Stanley Miller and Harold Urey, which continues to stimulate new investigations and publications, including experiments being conducted on the International Space Station.

 

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is located at 1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101. Gallery Admission, including access to all eight exhibit galleries, is $11.75 for adults; $9.75 for children & seniors. The Fleet is open 365 days a year; Monday–Thursday 10AM–5PM, Friday & Saturday 10AM–7PM and Sunday 10AM–6PM.  For more information, call (619) 238-1233 or visit our website at http://www.rhfleet.org.

 

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Celebrate the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center’s 40th Anniversary Year!

Forty years ago, a spark ignited our imaginations!  March 9, 2013 kicks off a year-long celebration of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and its 40 years of success in bringing hands-on science to our San Diego community. Forty years ago, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center opened its doors and brought interactive exhibits and the world’s first IMAX® Dome Theater to San Diego. Today, the Fleet inspires minds and connects individuals to science and technology through more than 100 “do touch” exhibits for all ages and amazing IMAX films and planetarium shows in the recently renovated Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. Enjoy our year-long celebration, featuring a blockbuster exhibition, incredible events and dynamic educational experiences.

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About the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center (“the Fleet”) is home to Southern California’s only IMAX® Dome Theater and 100+ hands-on science exhibits for all ages. Watch immersive giant-screen films in the Heikoff Dome Theater, featuring the world’s first NanoSeam™ Dome screen in an IMAX Theater. The Fleet is the first Giant Dome Theater in the country to share a digital planetarium with an IMAX Dome theater, following the recent installation of a new, state-of-the-art, giant dome screen digital GSX™ system from Global Immersion, which augments the existing IMAX® projector in the Heikoff Dome Theater with one of the most comprehensive and powerful full-dome experiences available today. The digital system not only enhances our planetarium capabilities but expands the possibilities for sustainable institutional programming that could include evening programming with cultural content of various kinds. Experience eight galleries of fun, interactive exhibits, including major traveling exhibitions. A hurricane simulator thrills visitors with gusts of wind up to 80 miles per hour. Enjoy sandwiches, salads and healthy treats in Galileo’s Café. Find unique educational toys and games, books, IMAX DVDs and more in the North Star Science Store. Located at 1875 El Prado, two blocks south of the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd, the Fleet Science Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the public understanding and enjoyment of science and technology. For information regarding current admission prices, please call (619) 238-1233 or visit our website at www.rhfleet.org.