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Too Much Information? Cutting-edge research on ‘build your own’ health testing kits to be featured at the Science Museum from today

A new exhibit opening today at the Science Museum will explore the future of health diagnostics and the ethical issues raised by the increasing number of self-diagnosis kits that are available to us all. 

From telephone diagnosis of ‘unusual’ moles to HIV self-testing, the Too Much Information? exhibit will feature a range of diagnostic tests, including some that have only recently become publicly available, as well as several cutting-edge prototypes.

Too Much Information? will look at ground-breaking new developments in health diagnostics, from home-testing kits to faster diagnosis times—including the Viral Haemorrhagic Fever Consortium and Corgenix Medical Corporation’s WHO-approved Ebola tests, which were deployed during the latest outbreak. Unlike other Ebola tests, these do not require a complex lab set-up and a long wait. Visitors will also be able to learn about the University of Cambridge and Diabetes UK’s artificial pancreas, which could be in use within 2–3 years and aims to make treatment of diabetes more responsive and less intrusive.

The exhibit will display new health monitors that have the potential to become commonplace in everyday life, such as Harvard University’s portable medical-grade diagnostic prototype, which aims to provide people with the ability to establish levels of tuberculosis, kidney disease and some types of cancer in the blood. There will also be new prototypes on show from a team at MIT who have been working on modular multiplex tests for conditions as diverse as Ebola, dengue, yellow fever, pregnancy and allergies.

Suzy Antoniw, Content Developer at the Science Museum, said:

‘We have more access to health information about ourselves than ever before. As information technology evolves and medical devices become faster, cheaper and smaller, this information is only set to grow. This exhibit gives a glimpse of what we can expect to discover from the comfort of our homes in the coming years—and encourages visitors to consider the implications of such technology.’

Too Much Information? forms part of the Who am I? gallery and is open from 29 June until 29 September 2015. The Who am I? gallery is supported by the Wellcome Trust (Principal Funder), GSK and the Life Technologies Foundation (Major Sponsors).

Notes to editors

For more information and images please contact Rosie Wilson in the Science Museum Press Office on 020 7942 4364 or via rosie.wilson@sciencemuseum.ac.uk

About the Science Museum

As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement.

Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We support bright minds in biomedical science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine. 

GSK

One of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, GSK is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

Life Technologies

The Life Technologies Foundation is dedicated to recognizing the power of each scientist’s contribution to improving the human condition. By teaming with researchers across countries and cultures, we strive to demystify the world of life science, empower today’s children to become tomorrow’s scientific leaders and deepen society’s appreciation of science.