Next World of Science lecture set for Feb. 1

CHAMPAIGN — "DNA: Understanding the Code of Life" is the next World of Science lecture Feb. 1 at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College.

Alvaro Hernandez, director of DNA services at the Biotechnology Center on the University of Illinois campus, will present the topic at 7 p.m. Admission is $1 at the door, with Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium admitted free of charge.

Hernandez will discuss how small variations in the structure of DNA have implications in disease, medical diagnostics, forensics, improved selection of plants and animals and the development of new antibiotics.

He will also examine the scale of the impact DNA research has on our nation's economy.

A native of Uruguay, Hernandez earned his doctorate in 2001 at the UI's Department of Animal Sciences.

After Hernandez's talk, the planetarium will present the remake of its first show, "Odyssey."

Tickets for regular planetarium shows range from $4 to $5 and are available at the door. For a full schedule, visit http://www.parkland.edu/planetarium or call 351-2446.

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