Smell-It Kit™: Engineer enzymes to smell like bananas

Kit Type
About Smell-It Kit™

Genetically engineer organisms to make overripe banana smell through enzyme reactions!

Discover the Smell-it Kit, a biotechnology education kit that lets you practice how to grow and engineering bacteria with a DNA program to express an enzyme derived from yeast that will catalyze a chemical reaction resulting in the smell of over-ripe bananas!

This is an all-in-one STEM project kit with no prior experience necessary though the previous completion of the Canvas kit, Engineer-it Kit, and Extract-it kit can be helpful and is suggested. A perfect step in your journey in exploring the world of biotechnology, biohacking & genetic engineering. Compatible with Ch. 6 of  Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero book to learn what is an enzyme, what are enzymatic reactions, and how to use them in biotechnology, synthetic biology, and for your science fair projects. 

colourful banana-smelling bacteria made with Amino Labs DIY genetic engineering kit & biotechnology kit, Smell-it kit enzymatic reactions - Learn genetic engineering skills while discovering biohacking, biotechnology, life science, DNA, what is an enzyme, enzymatic reactions with this STEM project kit, science kit, biohacking kit for home science, school science, makerspace, DIYbio, iGEM


What will you learn?

During this biotechnology experiment, you will learn what an enzyme is and how to use them to make with biology.

Specifically, with this kit, you will
1. Make selective & non-selective agar,
2. pour Petri dishes,
3. streak bacteria,
4. make bacteria chemically competent,
5. engineer bacteria using DNA plasmid (bacterial transformation),
6. incubate,
7. culture bacteria,
8. create positive and negative controls,
9. add substrate to catalyze the enzyme reaction
10. incubate,
11. smell/analyze results.

What's included?

(1) Smell-it Kit in Individual or Group size: Sterile water, 6cm Petri dish, LB agar, selection marker, ‘blank’ bacteria stab, transformation buffer, recovery media, positive control bacteria stab, DNA plasmid, reaction alcohol, streaking stencils, inactivation bag.

• Individual Kits: An individual kit with all the ingredients needed for completing one entire science experience. Great for an individual or a small group.

• Classroom/Group Kits: Four individually packaged kits with the needed ingredients to complete four entire science experiences. 1 shared resources bag containing the bacteria, DNA plasmid, and inactivation bags, which are shared between all participants. Great for the classroom, advanced AP biology, science fair projects, and iGEM teams.

• Instructions: a manual with easy-to-understand vocabulary and step-by-step procedures and an online experiment simulation to practice with, teach you fundamentals, and guide you along the way. Available online. See the Resources tab for links!

What else is needed?

To complete this experiment, you will need to have access to either the DNA Playground or, if you have your own laboratory equipment, a 37°C incubator, a hot water bath, crushed ice & ice bucket.

Cleaning and safety supplies are not included in the kit. Necessary safety and cleaning supplies are latex or nitrile gloves, and a chlorinated bleach cleaner or a 10% solution of chlorinated bleach in a spray bottle (you can make this by adding 9 parts water to 1 part bleach in a spray bottle). You can add a Mini Safety Set to your kit which includes gloves and a reusable plastic apron to protect your clothes.

For more information about safety, set up and clean up, you can have a look at the instruction manual for the experiment linked in the Ressources section below, and at the "Practicing safe science" page.

Storage & Shipping

Shipping Times

Experiment kits are shipped 1-10 working days after you place your order. If you require yours for a specific date or event, please contact us before or with your order # so that we can try to make it happen for you! ☺︎ 


The experiment kit(s) must be refrigerated upon arrival for the best shelf life, and the little bag(s) identified with a "Freezer bag" sticker must be placed in a freezer until use. Note that the main kit bags should never be frozen - only freeze the small bag with the "Freezer" sticker.

If your kits stay at room temperature before you collect it from your mailbox/mailroom/etc, that's ok! Place the kit(s) in the refrigerator and the small bag in the freezer as soon as you can. If you do not have access to a refrigerator/freezer for storage, use as soon as possible, and place it in a cool dark place until use.

For any questions, don't hesistate to reach out to us - contact us