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Sprint Through the Human Race

See yourself in a new skin

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Science shows that the DNA of any two people selected at random will be 99.97 percent the same across the board, but that .03 percent difference results in immeasurable differences between individuals. Or does it? Utilizing the same kind of morphing technology used by the FBI and Hollywood's big-budget blockbusters, The Human Race Machine, a futuristic computerized console, allows participants to see themselves with the facial characteristics of six different races. Users can create a visualization of themselves as Asian, white, African, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Indian by mapping the unique characteristics of each race upon their own face. The hope is that when faced with someone who looks just like you but is of another race, you realize how small that .03 variation is — so try it. The Human Race Machine visits Washington University's Danforth University Center (Forsyth and Skinker boulevards) Monday through Friday (January 12 through 16) as part of the Big Read project; this year's book, To Kill A Mockingbird, is sort of an analog Human Race Machine, after all. Admission is free, and hours of operation will be posted at assemblyseries.wustl.edu.
Jan. 12-16, 2009