Want to play with your DNA at home?

Want to play with your DNA at home?

Several hundred years ago, science was a fashion trend in upper class. Naturalists had their own labs in their beautiful houses. However, science seems to only carry on by experts in scientific institutes. If you have chance to own your lab at home, would you like to establish one to explore your daily life?

Bento Lab (http://www.bento.bio/) can be your choice to have your own DNA lab whose size is similar with a laptop. It contains the following parts: Centrifuge, PCR Thermocycler and Gel System. With right reagents, you can extract DNA from samples, amplify certain genes and visualize gene size. You can conduct the experiments you interest in, like simply testing your genetic health risk. It is not like a professional test, but you can explore your own DNA – including the genes for taste bud receptors, athletic ability, blood genotyping, lactose intolerance and more. Bento Lab is a good start point for experiencing genetic everywhere. Unfortunately, it does not contain a DNA sequencer. The DNA samples should be shipped off for sequencing.

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As a biologist …

I am not satisfied with only knowing DNA size from gel. I would like to know more about the DNA information like genotypes. For me, personal genomics which is provided by company like 23andMe (https://www.23andme.com/en-eu/) is more attracting. From its European website, we can see the report will give us information about inherited conditions, drug response, genetic risk factors and traits. Compared with over 1,000,000 people worldwide in database, the result will also show your ancestry to life through your DNA.

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About the author:

Wanyang Wang is a PhD student in Max Planck Institute, studying Terrestrial Microbiology. In her spare time, she likes traveling and reading, since both are an interesting way to know more about this world. She likes to link her research interest, gut microbiota, to a healthy lifestyle. Actually, cutting edge research findings are not far away from our daily life. She wants to draw more attention from people to these changes.

 

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