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Inexpensive biology kits offer hands-on experience with DNA

James Collins | Via MIT | August 1, 2018

To help students gain a better grasp of biological concepts, MIT and Northwestern University researchers have designed educational kits that can be used to perform experiments with DNA, to produce glowing proteins, scents, or other easily observed phenomena.

Biology teachers could use the BioBits kits to demonstrate key concepts such as how DNA is translated into proteins, or students could use them to design their own synthetic biology circuits, the researchers say.

“Our vision is that these kits will serve as a creative outlet for young individuals, and show them that biology can be a design platform,” says James Collins, the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science in MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Department of Biological Engineering. “The time is right for creating educational kits that could be utilized in classrooms or in the home, to introduce young folks as well as adults who want to be retrained in biotech, to the technologies that underpin synthetic biology and biotechnology… Continue reading.

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