About the Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero™: 1 - 4 (Home Pack)
Become a Genetic Engineering Hero!
Learn to extract DNA, grow friendly bacteria, make bio-art, and engineer bacteria by adding DNA from sea creatures!
The Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero Kit Pack (Chapters 1-4) includes everything you need to complete Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Genetic Engineering Hero Learning Journey outlined in Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero: The beginner’s guide to programming bacteria at home, school & in the makerspace.
Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero is over 65,000 words and 130 color illustrations to take you from knowing little to nothing about genetic engineering to having the same basic training you would gain in university. The Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero Beginner’s Guide book contains more than a dozen hands-on biotechnology exercises, 160 pages of theory, concepts, discussion questions, "Going Deeper" and "Pro-tip" sections.
It is the most cutting-edge and accessible technical book about genetic engineering and biotechnology explicitly made for beginners. Whether you are looking to learn more about and participate in science fairs, DIYbio, the iGEM or Biodesign competitions; teach middle school and high school students; set up a responsible DIY biohacking lab; want to experience what a biotechnology career could be; or even prepare for university & AP biology, this book can help! Teenagers aged 12-14 edited this book, so we're confident that it is accessible and valuable to beginners and intermediate learners of all ages.
The life science experiment kits included in this pack will take you through the first part of the Genetic Engineering Hero's journey; to doing genetic engineering! This kit pack includes individual experiment kits and is ideal for individuals, small groups, and families to discover the exciting and promising world of biotechnology.
“The book, the DNA Playground, Zero to Hero starter kits, and my centrifuge gave me an understanding of what genetic engineering is and how you can program bacteria to make things. It was so exciting that I’m asking my science teacher to start an iGEM team next year that will compete in the High School iGEM league.” Pau, 12-year-old, Washington, DC, USA.
Meet a Genetic Engineering Hero: Patricia, a 14-year-old from Markham, Canada, started her Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero journey at age 12 and was recently featured at MIT Media Lab's global biosummit, and on the news for her award-winning science projects. Hear Patricia talk about her work to CBC News here.
What will you learn?
Introduction: Take the Genetic Engineers’ Pledge
Chapter 1 - Isolating DNA, the Blueprints of Life:
- extract and see real genomic DNA from strawberries using the DNA extraction kit,
- assemble a DNA structure utilizing a drag and drop simulator,
- discover 'What is DNA?', 'What is DNA's function?', and 'What is DNA made of?',
- learn about the history of DNA, its evolution, the road to precisely editing DNA and its future,
- understand how DNA can be used in biotechnology to create products,
- understand how atoms, molecules, macromolecules (nucleic acid), and nucleotides come into play.
Chapter 2 - Safety & setting up your Genetic Engineering Hero Space
- learn about the 4 Biosafety levels & how to stay safe & responsible during your biotechnology science projects,
- discover the rules & regulations in biotechnology,
- set up your own lab - What type of laboratory equipment is necessary? What kind of locations can be used for a safe & responsible biotechnology lab,
- learn how to inactivate your biotechnology science experiments and clean up your laboratory,
- download a laboratory safety checklist, a biosafety poster, and a biosecurity poster,
- understand the ethics, lab safety & best practices surrounding genetic engineering and biotechnology.
Chapter 3 - Growing E. coli cells
- grow colorful, friendly lab-strain of bacteria and use it to make bioart in a virtual simulator and then in real-life using the Canvas kit (optional hands-on),
- learn the difference between safe laboratory E. coli vs. ‘bad’ E. coli and its history,
- learn 'What is a cell?'
- tour the cell structure using the Cells as (micro) factories analogy - a comparison between factories and cells.
- discover the role of macromolecules: carbs, lipids, proteins
Chapter 4 - Genetic Engineering your E. coli cells
- engineer bacteria (cells) with a pre-made DNA program in a virtual simulator and then in real-life using the Engineer-it kit (optional hands-on),
- learn the primary operating environment of a cell,
- start understanding how cells read DNA: How do cells know how to start, do and stop reading DNA (transcription),
- discover 'What is a gene?'
- find out what DNA plasmids are and how to use them in biotechnology.
During this STEM biotechnology journey, you will learn how to use bacteria and DNA to make with biology. Once you are done, you will have completed the first part of the Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero's journey; genetically engineering bacteria with DNA plasmids! From there, you can continue your Genetic Engineering Hero journey with Chapters 5, 6, and 7 to learn about advanced biotechnology concepts and skills like enzymes, genetic switches, DNA plasmid maps, and more!
View the full learning journey here.
What else is needed?
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
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! ☺︎
For any questions, don't hesistate to reach out to us - contact us