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Look, Mommy! I Made a New Life Form!

resistant (221968) writes | more than 5 years ago

Biotech 0

resistant (221968) writes "

The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself. Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering — a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories. .... In Cambridge, Mass., a group called DIYbio is setting up a community lab where the public could use chemicals and lab equipment, including a used freezer, scored for free off Craigslist, that drops to 80 degrees below zero, the temperature needed to keep many kinds of bacteria alive. Co-founder Mackenzie Cowell, a 24-year-old who majored in biology in college, said amateurs will probably pursue serious work such as new vaccines and super-efficient biofuels, but they might also try, for example, to use squid genes to create tattoos that glow. ....

Personally, I'd like to whip up a reasonably long-lasting and durable paint made with dye based on squid genes that glows brightly enough to allow "guide lines" to be daubed along hallway baseboards, powered by a very low trickle of electricity. Plus, a harmless glowing yogurt would make for a cool prank."

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