Amino Labs' desktop bioengineering kit lets users culture living cells at home and explore the possibilities of synthetic biology.
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As biotechnology becomes cheaper to manufacture, we’re seeing more businesses turn to the #CitizenScientist market — Post/Biotics are even hoping to crowdsource future antibiotics this way. US-based Amino is joining this fleet to let anyone try synthetic biology.
Hoping that even those without a natural inclination to science will be able to participate in the synthetic biology industry, Amino’s kit is very simple to use. It begins by explaining the science behind cell culturing “Tamagotchi-style”, guiding users through all the processes used by professional labs. The home lab contains all the necessary equipment for growing and feeding cells, inserting DNA into them and even a safe, professional lab standard self-cleaning feature. The companion Amino app provides educational resources and allows users to order add-ons to create different cell cultures. One day, Amino hope, users will be able to experiment with creating their own synthetic medicines, food or fragrances. Of course, strict regulations may need implementing.
Amino are currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo. With sophisticated but easy-to-use home labs, the team hopes to democratize biotechnology in the same way 3D printing is doing for manufacturing. What other technologies could be made available for makers at home?