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Visitors Center's newest exhibition puts a spotlight on the mysteries of aging
Posted: 09/21/2010
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Why do we age and can it be slowed down? Why does one kind of animal live longer than another? What will you look like 25 years from now?

You can explore all these questions and more about the mysteries of aging by visiting the newest exhibition - "The Amazing Feats of Aging" - open free to the public at The University of Texas-Pan American's Visitors Center.

Visitors of all ages are invited to come and delve into why and how animals, including humans, age in this highly interactive health science exhibition, which will be on display Sept. 27, 2010 through Jan. 9, 2011. At nearly 2,500 square feet, the fun, carnival-like exhibit features 16 stations focused on the biology of aging with emphasis on aging across the animal kingdom, healthy aging and aging of the brain.

The hands-on displays and informative panels will allow visitors to compare the life span of an elephant to a tortoise among other animals, see how the brain differs as it ages from a 27-year-old to an 87-year-old and learn how response times to a computer game change with age. At an aging machine, you can witness what your face will look like 25 years down the road. Little ones will be able to line up animal cutouts from smallest to largest as they learn which live longer in relation to their size. You will be able to compare the life expectancy between male and female animals and discover what animals spend more time with their elders than others. Older folks will appreciate a task showing how their brains can still learn new tricks and a visual display of a healthy brain compared to one with Alzheimer's disease.

"Amazing Feats of Aging" was created and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. The exhibit was funded by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health.

UTPA is the only university in Texas and one of approximately 10 in the country that supports exhibits as a means of recruitment and making young people aware of higher education opportunities. Since the first exhibit in fall 2003, the Visitors Center exhibitions have attracted more than 200,000 visitors to the UTPA campus.

The "Amazing Feats of Aging" exhibit is open during regular UTPA Visitors Center hours, 8 a.m-5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. Tours by school and other groups can be scheduled by filling out a tour request form at www.utpa.edu. For more information on the exhibit, call (956) 665-7338.