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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Interactive Capecchi kiosks make debut across county

By Lana Groves, Asst. News Editor

When Mario Capecchi won the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 2007, the U took pride in the researcher, who has worked for more than 30 years on campus.

Now, with five interactive touch-screen kiosks, Capecchi’s research and accomplishments can be shared with thousands of Utah residents and students.

“These kiosks will be placed in different locations at the county complexes,” said Karen Hale, spokeswoman for Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. “I think it’s a catalyst for children to see what can be done through science.”

Becker and Capecchi will discuss the mobile kiosks at a ribbon cutting today at the Salt Lake City-County Building. Groups or organizations interested in displaying information about the genetics research that won Capecchi the Nobel Prize can borrow a kiosk for events for free.

Capecchi, a distinguished professor of human genetics and biology, moved to Utah in 1973 and began a more than 20-year project to genetically alter specific genes in mice.

The technology allows researchers worldwide to alter the genetic makeup of a mouse, which allows them to track a disease and study possible treatments.

Capecchi traveled to Stockholm, Sweden for the Nobel Prize ceremony, and has since given hundreds of lectures to students and researchers about his research and current projects. The kiosks will make the story of Capecchi’s journey to genetics stardom available to the masses.

Viewers can touch the screen sand receive instructions on how to use the kiosks. Papers, lectures, photos from Stockholm and current research will all be accessible through the interactive displays.

Capecchi told The Daily Utah Chronicle in December that he hoped the kiosks would encourage students and other people to become more involved in science and genetic research.

“There’s probably 40 or 50 hours worth of all kinds of information on this kiosk,” said Deborah Peterson, development director for the human genetics department. “The kiosk will hopefully share greater understanding of (Capecchi’s) work.”

The kiosks were paid for through the department of human genetics.

Because the kiosks have Internet access, viewers can send links to Capecchi’s articles to their e-mail accounts and send questions to Capecchi, who will receive comments and reply via e-mail.

Hale said people could also donate money to the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics at the U by using an available credit card slot in the machine.

One kiosk will be showcased at the Salt Lake City-County building Jan. 27 and stay for five weeks before moving to a new location. One is at the Salt Lake County Complex, and two more are in the process of being moved to the Salt Lake International Airport.

Peterson said the fifth kiosk will go to the Orem Public Library in a couple of weeks.

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