4-18 July 2005. Here is an arts experience with a difference. Genes Talking is a human genome research project open to the public at the ICA in London. Over the course of a two-week period visitors are invited to learn about human genes and take part in an experiment the results of which could help children born with a specific type of disability that can slow their ability to learn to speak. Specific Language Impairment (SLI) is a genetic disorder which affects one out of every 100 children. Those born with it do not instinctively learn how to speak like the other 99 per cent of us; having learned once that the plural of a word can be obtained by adding an s most of us deduce that adding an s will create the plural of all words. Children with SLI do not and so have to learn every single plural by heart. During the research project visitors will be asked to name things that correspond to information in our genes. Most of the hard calculation work is done by computers. The public gets to see a real lab working on a day-to-day basis, speak to scientists and take part in the analysis of the results. Admission costs 1.50 (concessions 1), Sat & Sun 2.50 (concessions 1.50) 12.00-19.30. Open all week.
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ICA, 12 The Mall, London, SW1Y 5YT. Tel. +44-2079303647. The nearest tube stations are Charing Cross or Piccadilly Circus.