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We are in the midst of the Biorevolution. DNA technology is used to “program cells” to make important things like medicine, industrial products, and food. Just like the computer revolution took the world by storm in the last decades, the Biorevolution will rock the world in the coming decade. Prepare yourself, your family, or your students for the Biorevolution by learning DNA technology basics. Give yourself, your family, or students an advantage by being at the forefront of this change.
Just like the Insulin pioneers engineered bacteria to produce human insulin, new learners can try programming biology by using the safe, non-toxic ingredients from our all-in-one kits. Amino Labs is designed for new scientists, makers and learners with technology developed at M.I.T., and can safely be used in any North American homes or classrooms. The kits allows you to insert Jellyfish or Coral DNA into friendly, inactivated bacteria to create vivid, glowing pigments.
Amino Labs Inc. was founded by designer Julie Legault, based on her thesis research at the MIT Media Lab, 2015. Following a kitchen biohacking event at Media Lab director Joi Ito's house, Julie wanted to replicate the experience to pursue her own research by making with biology. However, after experiencing the difficulties of learning synthetic biology, bioengineering, genetic engineering from textbooks, online material, and feeling ill-at-ease in a traditional life science lab, Julie created a minilab, the Amino One. Based on Maker movement the minilab she created was not only to provide herself with a safe, fun environment to experiment in but more importantly as a way to encourage others to get familiar with, and discover genetic engineering through doing.
After graduation, Julie founded Amino Labs and with the help of scientist Dr. Justin Pahara, who had taught that very same kitchen biohack of 2014. Amino Labs collaborated with friends and colleagues from Montreal, Toronto, and Boston, to take the original design prototype and schematics further with a fast build, test and iterate cycle that included much user testing.
At its very beginning in the fall of 2015, the company got a kickstart thanks to MIT's E14 Fund and participating in SF's Indie Bio accelerator. That time is what allowed us to refine the Amino One and test it out with actual people! Immense Support came from an early crowdfunding campaign for the Amino One which is still shipping with new units as of summer 2017.
As a designer, Julie wanted to bring application-based learning to genetic engineering; from Fragrances to pigments, the Amino Labs ecosystem is made to inspire new enthusiasts to create with biology.
Through our build-test-iterate product development with users, we learned a lot, and turned these learnings into new products: Ingredient kits, the DNA Playground and the BioExplorer (formerly the Amino One, and the Bioproduction Lab) so that you, your family and students could experience the same life-changing event Julie did : creating your own engineered organisms.