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Folks trying genetic engineering at home

December 25th, 2008

Test tubes: Biotech experiments at home.Seems people are trying genetic engineering (or the more politically correct “genetic modification”) at home make-shift labs for all sorts of interesting projects. Many of these people are those who had the insight to study biotechnology in college, but didn’t find a job in the field. Is this a good or a bad thing? I’d say overall, it’s great. Sure, there is the risk that some sinister soul would try to concoct a bio-weapon, but much more likely, is that this will get citizens more comfortable with these extremely important technologies. In some cases, children in the family or community may get involved and be inspired to pursue a career in biotechnology. There’s nothing like a lab in the home or close to home, to make obvious the concrete reality of what can de done nowadays. And some very small percentage may actually be successful in creating something of value to society. Remember the garage/apartment tinkering that launched the personal computer revolution (If not, see Pirates of Silicon Valley)? Good luck getting the product to market without the idea being stolen by a huge corporation with an army of patent lawyers though (that’s another article).

Scientific education supply companies also now provide a suprising array of genetic engineering kits to get you started. These kits may not be set up to create anything of marketable value, but are intended to educate in the principles, practice and understanding of recombinant DNA technology. And that is quite valuable in itself!

Amateurs are trying genetic engineering at home (Associated Press)

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