Chain Reaction is an exhibition that explores creative and scientific processes in response to the 30th anniversary of the invention of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). This reaction is routinely performed by a humble box on the lab bench, the PCR machine. Scientists use it every day but rarely stop to think about it; most of the rest of us have never even heard of it. Yet it is the unsung hero of the genetic revolution behind police forensics, disease diagnosis, paternity testing and the human genome project.
As such PCR forms an unexpected route into the heart of how scientists actually work in their laboratories. Funded by the AHRC, six artists have been invited to engage with scientists from the University of Kent's School of Biosciences to learn what the PCR machine does, how it works and the impact it has had on society. Their artworks reveal the chain reactions occurring within PCR, between science and society, between scientists and artists ... and who knows where next ...
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