Amino : a domestic system for synthetic biology and continuous culturing

Legault, J. "Amino : a domestic system for synthetic biology and continuous culturing"


With the ability to transfer a trait from one creature to another purposefully, synthetic biology is advancing across unforeseen domains. From algae cells that convert carbon dioxide to fuel, biocementation bacteria to terraform mars, and lab-grown meat, synthetic biology offers new materials for designers, technologists, and artists to explore, and yet, public opinion lags behind these scientific advancements. Anytime science advances faster than our ability to apprehend it, it produces progress but also fear, suspicion and uncertainty. Amino -- an object that allows direct interaction with microorganisms to experiment with biology as material -- sets out not simply to educate but to also be part of the early culture that metabolizes the changes underway. Amino is a design driven mini-lab that allows users to carry out a bacterial transformation and enables the subsequent care and feeding of the cells that are grown. Inspired by Tamagotchis, the genetic transformation of an organism's DNA is performed by the user through guided interactions, resulting in their synthetic organism for which they can care like you would a pet. Amino is developed using low cost ways of carrying out lab-like procedures in the home and is packaged in a suitcase-sized continuous bioreactor for cells.

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