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Local school explores DNA in the Garden

12 June 2006

The public are being invited to take a hands-on look at how the discovery of DNA has increased what we know about plants, how we use them and develop new varieties and how this can help preserve biodiversity and aid conservation.

For the next three weeks King Charles I School in Kidderminster will be housing ‘DNA in the Garden,’ a national interactive exhibition developed jointly by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA.

Visitors to the exhibition, opening to the public on Wednesday 14 June, will be able to explore some of the latest scientific research on plants and see it in context with other important historical landmarks in plant science.

Maggie Leggett, Head of Public Engagement at BBSRC, said: “BBSRC is very pleased that King Charles I School is hosting this exhibition, giving pupils and the public a chance to take an interactive look at one of the most important discoveries of the twentieth century. We hope people will be excited by the cutting-edge research being carried out throughout the UK as well as on their own doorstep.”

The exhibition includes specially grown plants showing the history of plant genetics and displays about modern plant breeding and aspects of genetic engineering. Alongside the exhibition, the school will be showcasing some of the plant science they carry out including growing endangered orchids from seed in their dedicated orchid propagation laboratory.

Dr Nigel Collins, Science Enrichment and Science Centre Manager at the school, said: “We are delighted to have this national exhibition housed in the school’s new Science Theatre. We are able to complement the exhibition with our experimental plots containing 20 potato cultivators, including many modern varieties but also one dating back to the 19th century, as well as various greenhouse projects. We are looking forward to welcoming the public to the exhibition and discussions and sharing our enthusiasm for plant biology with them.”

DNA in the Garden runs from the 12 June to 1 July. Dates and times the public can visit vary over the three weeks. The first day the public can attend is Wednesday 14 June from 5-9pm. The exhibition is also open on Saturday 17 June and Sunday 18 June from 10am - 4.30pm.

ENDS

Notes to editors

DNA in the Garden was developed in 2003 by BBSRC to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA. It first went on public display at The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and has since been touring the UK.

King Charles I School is a specialist science college.

The Science Theatre at King Charles I School was opened last year and houses a large flexible laboratory space, which can be turned into a 100 seat lecture theatre or performance space. The roof is covered with several varieties of Sedum (stonecrop) plants which flower in June.

External contact

Nigel Collins, King Charles I School
tel: 01562 512880

Contact

Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299
fax: 01793 413382

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382