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Do It Yourself Genetic Engineering Answered

From New Scientist

KATHERINE AULL's laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, lacks a few mod cons. "Down here I have a thermocycler I bought on eBay for 59 bucks," she says, pulling out a large, box-shaped device she uses to copy short strands of DNA. "The rest is just home brew," she adds, pointing to a centrifuge made out of a power drill and plastic food container, and a styrofoam incubator warmed with a heating pad normally used in terrariums.

In fact, Aull's lab is a closet less than 1 square metre in size in the shared apartment she lives in. Yet amid the piles of clothes she recently concocted vials of an entirely new genetically modified organism.

...

Read the whole article in New Scientist

23 Replies

user
Berkin (author)2009-01-12

Wow! This sounds much more interesting than what I'm doing at home right now... preserving a cold virus in a sealed cylinder in the freezer.

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kelseymh (author)Berkin2009-01-12

Ah, you're doing biology, too? Most excellent!

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user
Berkin (author)kelseymh2009-01-12

Noooo... I did that at home, as a project in my spare time... I was infected wit the same virus at the time. I used a saliva sample to get the virus from.

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user
FaqMan (author)2009-01-08

This is pretty cool i can finally get to work on my mutant army.

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Berkin (author)FaqMan2009-01-12

'mutant army'? and how do you plan on doing this, may I ask?

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user
KentsOkay (author)2009-01-07

*rubs hands* Excellent.... Thou all shalt fear mine mutant squirrels!!

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user
Goodhart (author)KentsOkay2009-01-08

Fear? Sounds like super supper to me :-)

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user
KentsOkay (author)Goodhart2009-01-09

They will come back to life inside thine stately belly and REAK HAVOC

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user
Goodhart (author)KentsOkay2009-01-09

I doubt it, with the way I pepper things in cayenne ;-) I believe I could probably digest bone *chuckle*

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caitlinsdad (author)2009-01-07

Best part about having a home lab is that you can flush all failed experiments down the toilet. Excess mercury in fish is the least of our worries. Ironic that you can have a bio-WMD capable lab in your house but setting up a liquor still is illegal.

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NachoMahma (author)caitlinsdad2009-01-08

. I'm not one to worry a lot about dangerous technology in the hands of DIYers, but your little scenario scares the feces outta me. What scares me even more is the successful experiments that might get flushed. I'm not going to lose too much sleep over it, but it is scary.
. Develop a super-yeast and you won't need the still - 180 proof out of the fermentation tank. :)

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Berkin (author)NachoMahma2009-01-12

Super-yeast sounds like a very interesting concept... Make loaves of bread the size of the average adult! LOL

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caitlinsdad (author)NachoMahma2009-01-08

Did you ever notice how a fish never catches a cold or the flu? And they are happy fish? ...it's all the antibiotics and other drugs that get flushed into the wastestream...

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LinuxH4x0r (author)2009-01-08

MUAHAHA! Actually quite scary when you think about it. I made antibiotic resistant e-coli!

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kelseymh (author)LinuxH4x0r2009-01-08

You can do that without even a lab! Just borrow some Cipro from a friend and take it every day for a few months (that's thousands of generations). You'll evolve resistant bacteria right in your very own body.

If you go long enough, you might even evolve bacteria that can digest the "antibiotic" for nourishment.

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Gjdj3 (author)2009-01-07

Haha, I think that's awesome. There was an article on digg recently that quoted some scientists who seem to think otherwise though...

here.

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