The goal is to make genetic engineering accessible for everyone. According to Amino Labs, genetic engineering affects more than a billion people every day as a core part of our society, yet, only a minuscule fraction of the population understand it.
It’s defined as the deliberate modification of the characteristics of an organism by manipulating its genetic material.
In medicine, bioengineering is responsible for the mass-production of medications like insulin, growth hormones, vaccines and fertility treatments. Biotechnology can also be used to advance fields like sustainable food, materials, and energy.
In 2015, designer Julie Legault, who was completing her thesis at the MIT Media Lab at the time, was trying to learn all she could about the field of biohacking. But she was having trouble piecing together the plethora information in textbooks and online.
Legault decided that the technology would be more accessible if people could learn through doing. She then co-founded Amino Labs Inc. with scientist Dr Justin Pahara. Now the company creates desktop kits that introduce enthusiasts to the ins and outs of genetic modification.
Their most popular kit, The DNA playground starter enables students, teachers or enthusiasts to insert DNA programs into bacteria. Used at home or in a learning environment, the kit allows users to engineer bacteria to create colours, dyes, and more.
At $382.00, it’s not the cheapest educational tool but it’s still more affordable than traditional bulky tools.