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Subject: Identity
SUBJECT:
Identity
Who am I? And where am I from? These are fundamental questions that encompass our sense of past, present and future. Further developments in genetics and DNA testing have revealed some of the answers to our genetic identity. Examples of the technology developed, such as the first genetic fingerprint, can be found in the NMSI collections. Visible characteristics have long been used to group people into one race or another, sometimes with horrific consequences, but genetic studies have revealed our underlying similarities. Genetic analysis has shown that skin colour, or other visible characteristics are no clear indication of race, genetically we are all a very mixed bunch.
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The loss of a limb is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. Artificial limbs are, at best, an imperfect solution. Find out how three people have managed with them.  > more
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Women's health problems used to be treated by other women. As professional medicine became more powerful, male doctors took command. They changed the way women's health was portrayed and how their bodies were treated.  > more
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Tracing your ancestors can reveal surprising results and even more so when you involve the science of genetics. Faithfulness, race and health can all be brought into question when we use genetics to trace our ancestors.  > more
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Whether it is the increasing problem of people being overweight in the West, the ways that people adorn their bodies, or even the methods by which the body can be modified, we are obsessed by body issues. Though body image seems glamorous, what is seen as normal and our ability to attain this are affected by the practicality of technology and economics.  > more
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Building and running the railways required huge numbers of people, who formed themselves into tight-knit communities, forging new identities that gave meaning not just to their own lives, but to those of their families as well. This topic examines the lives of the engineers who designed the railways, the navvies who built them, the men and women who worked on them, and the ‘railway towns’ they made.  > more
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The human sciences have come to understand people either as a ‘Puzzle Solvers’, ‘Tool Users’ or ‘Story Tellers’. Sometimes in conflict, sometimes in harmony, these three models continue to inform contemporary debates about what we are – and what we can become.  > more
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The act of moving between worlds has changed not just individual lives but altered forever the destinies of entire nations. Migrants bring ideas, industries and technologies as well as aspects of material culture in the form of objects and cuisines. Is this exchange necessary for the growth and vigour of nations, or are we losing the nuances and particularities that give different cultures their distinctiveness and strength?  > more
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Doctors are no longer gods and their technology is not miraculous. Trust, fear and suspicion have changed with technological developments, social upheaval and popular education.
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