Human DNA collections
From 2009 to 2019, nearly 10,000 participants in the Genetics of Taste studies at the Museum contributed samples of their DNA to the permanent collections. This unique collection of modern human DNA, featured in The Brain Scoop with Emily Graslie, is one of the only of its kind in the museum world. The small tubes of pure DNA are stored in ultra-cold freezers (-80 degrees C) and serve as the raw data repository for IRB-approved research studies on how human genetics affects the recognized tastes of sweet, sour, bitter, and umami, and the putative sixth taste, fat.
Learn more at Genetics of Taste.