JERSEY CITY, N.J., April 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diabetes is a national epidemic. In the United States, a person is diagnosed with diabetes every 21 seconds. A new interactive traveling exhibit, Diabetes: A Deeper Look, developed by the Detroit Science Center and made possible with support from sanofi-aventis U.S., will help hundreds of thousands of people across the country understand diabetes, available diabetes treatment options, and the role insulin plays in the body. Opening today at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ, this 2,500 sq. ft. exhibit, which resembles a giant walk-through blood vessel, will help meet the increasing need for better education and awareness about diabetes.
"In our role as a relevant educational resource, Liberty Science Center is very pleased to host this engaging exhibit that will enlighten New Jersey and New York residents about diabetes, one of America's leading health issues," said Emlyn Koster, Ph.D, president and CEO of Liberty Science Center. "Diabetes: A Deeper Look conveys important messages about diabetes to all ages and stages of learning, and we are delighted to partner with sanofi-aventis U.S. to provide our diverse visitors with this hands-on learning experience."
With more than 40,000 LED lights pulsating to the sound of a heartbeat, visitors to the eye-catching exhibition enter through a giant cell structure that simulates insulin's role in getting glucose (sugar) to provide energy to cells. Inside and around the vessel, hands-on interactive exhibits and displays explain the role of insulin in the body; how people can be affected by diabetes; the importance of diet and exercise as the first line of defense in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes; the types of medications used to help control blood sugar levels, including insulin; and the research and discovery of medications used to help treat diabetes.
"With nearly 24 million Americans living with diabetes, including an estimated 5.7 million who remain undiagnosed, educational efforts like Diabetes: A Deeper Look are part of our commitment at sanofi-aventis U.S. to raise awareness among the public about diabetes and the importance of blood sugar control," said Dr. Paul Chew, Chief Science Officer/Chief Medical Officer, sanofi-aventis U.S. "Sanofi-aventis U.S. is proud to work with the Detroit Science Center, Liberty Science Center and additional venues nationwide to educate people about diabetes, and more specifically, to explain the important role of insulin and how the body is affected when it does not effectively use or produce enough insulin."
Today's opening kicks off the exhibit's national tour of 12 U.S. destinations from 2010-2012. Admission to the exhibit is free to visitors with paid museum admission. For more information about the exhibit and the national tour, please visit www.DiabetesADeeperLook.com.
Insulin is a hormone that allows blood sugar to move from a person's bloodstream into cells, giving them energy. Type 1 diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body is not producing enough insulin and/or not using the insulin produced adequately. About 40 percent of patients with diabetes are not in control of their blood sugar. Diabetes is a progressive disease, and achieving blood sugar control earlier in the course of the disease may help reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.
Diabetes is a chronic, widespread condition in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, the hormone needed to transport glucose (sugar) from the blood into the cells of the body for energy. More than 230 million people worldwide are living with the disease and this number is expected to rise to a staggering 350 million within 20 years. It is estimated that nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes, including an estimated 5.7 million who remain undiagnosed.
Sanofi-aventis U.S. is an affiliate of sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to help improve the lives of patients. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY). For more information, www.sanofi-aventis.us or www.sanofi-aventis.com.
About Liberty Science Center
Dedicated to providing transformative experiences that connect schools and society with science and technology, Liberty Science Center is the New Jersey-New York City region's largest education resource. Motivated by an innovative philosophy and enabled by a $109 million expansion and renewal, Liberty Science Center is bringing the excitement of science to students, educators, families and adults in engaging new ways and establishing a progressive benchmark for the science center field. Visit www.lsc.org to learn more about Liberty Science Center, located in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ.
About the Detroit Science Center
Diabetes: A Deeper Look is produced by the Detroit Science Center with funding from sanofi-aventis, U.S. at Eekstein's Workshop, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Detroit Science Center that creates captivating, durable, engaging exhibits and displays for museum and corporate clients. The Detroit Science Center is a hands-on museum that inspires its visitors to pursue and support careers in engineering, technology and science. It is one of the 10 largest science museums in the country. For more information, call 313.577.8400 or visit www.detroitsciencecenter.org.