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NLM Launches New Exhibition-related Resources: Online Adaptation of “Pick Your Poison,” Educational Resources for “From DNA to Beer”

Advertisement for medicinal drops to relieve toothache, Lloyd Manufacturing Co., 1885The National Library of Medicine has launched an online adaptation of Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures and Medical Prescriptions, an exhibition with education resources that features items from the National Library of Medicine’s historical collection as well as the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

Mind-altering drugs have been used throughout the history of America. While some remain socially acceptable, such as alcohol and nicotine, others, like heroin and cocaine, are now outlawed because of their toxic, and intoxicating, characteristics. These classifications have shifted at different times in history, and will continue to change. This exhibition explores some of the factors that have shaped the changing definition of some of our most potent drugs.

Pick Your Poison includes a “Digital Gallery,” a selection of digitized, historical texts from the History of Medicine Division’s diverse collections, providing viewers new avenues to explore beyond the exhibition. Education resources include a lesson plan for grades 10-12 that investigates the exhibition content; two higher education modules; and an online activity. In addition, the web feature “Additional Resources at NLM” includes a selection of published contemporary articles on the various substances featured in the exhibition, available through PMC, which provides free access to over 2.8 million life science journal articles.

The online adaption of From DNA to Beer: Harnessing Nature in Medicine and Industry is expanded to include education resources. From DNA to Beer explores some of the processes, problems, and potential inherent in technologies that use life such as antibiotics and human growth hormones. The education resources delve into different aspects of the exhibition content, and include a lesson plan for grades 7-9; a higher education module; and an array of eight online activities. In addition, Additional Resources at NLM includes a selection of molecular models of the various bacteria and proteins related to the exhibition narrative, which are provided by the National Center of Biotechnology Information.

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