You can now go to Kickstarter and fund a project that is making kits that allow you to extract genes from different organic matter; you can then use these genes to create your own living organisms.
The GlowGene Kickstarter sounds like a starter kit for any aspiring mad genius. The GlowGene kit includes a special cell that can extract DNA from animals, and the kit also includes tools to extract DNA from other organisms, and a collection of pre-supplied genes.
The kit then gives you the tools to insert the genes you want into other matter, so you can observe the changes and laugh like a madman. There is no other explanation for why someone would want to back this kit. Well, a lot of people who want to experience something unique might choose to back this, and parents who want to inspire their children to learn about science might be interested too, but we still think this is really designed to appeal to the mad scientist-type.
The actual science of the GlowGene kit is pretty complex, but the simple version is that you can extract genes from animal, plant, or fungi cells with the tools included in the kit. You can add these to cells provided in the kit, and then observe the changes as you create glow in the dark cells, or colour pigments to change the colour of your cells.
You can see the detailed explanation in the video below:
The project, which started on Monday, has so far crossed AUD 7,000 (approximately Rs. 3.5 lakh) against a target of AUD 1,200 (approximately Rs. 60,000), with 30 days to go. You can pledge AUD 250 (approximately Rs. 12,000) to get a GlowGene kit for yourself, which includes cell cultures, various genes, equipment such as a bunsen burner and a micropipette, petri dishes, and other tools, ligases, and more. You can either have this shipped to yourself, or you can donate it to a school directly through the Kickstarter.
The kit ships worldwide and delivery is expected by February 2016.
About Kickstarter of the week
In this weekly column, we look at crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, to try and find the coolest new projects from the world of crowdfunding. Sometimes, we've found really interesting projects like the Site: 1 speakers, wooden handmade wireless Bluetooth speakers. At other times, we've come across stuff that's just fun, such as the Bevel, which can turn any phone into a 3D camera.
Not everything we find here is going to be the next Oculus Rift or Pebble Smartwatch, and of course, with any crowdfunded project there's the risk that it won't actually ship, even after being funded.
Still, if you can afford to set a little money aside, some of these projects can be really cool, and worth backing. To see more from the world of crowdfunding, check out our previous Kickstarter of the Week stories.