IndieBB: Open Source Biotech for Everyone

 “I want to create a kit that will let everyone get involved in genetic engineering, and from there to help democratise synthetic biology so we can all have a chance to shape the future of technology. It starts with this; humble, but important. If you agree, please help out by pledging, or by spreading the word!” – Cathal Garvey IndieBioTech

Explore the world of biotechnology hands-on, by making your own fluorescent life form on your own terms! IndieBB is your gateway to the world of engineering life!

Biotechnology is the oldest, and most advanced, technology we have. Biotechnology is where we get our foods, our medicines, and the clothes we wear. Today, it’s stepping out of the lab to become an integral part of our daily lives; someday soon, perhaps you’ll have a bioluminescent night-light, or a fridge full of cancer-fighting blue tomato juice?

If you want to explore the world of biotechnology, IndieBB is the best place to start. With this kit, you’ll learn about how genetic engineering is achieved, by making your own fluorescent bacteria! Using a cunning combination of carefully designed instructions, pre-packaged ingredients and (most of all) expertly designed DNA, you’ll be able to get started learning how to reprogram the world around you in no time.

With this skill, you’ll join thousands of pioneers around the world who are pushing the boundaries of what we can do using science at home. You’ll learn the skills you need to make something amazing, maybe to change the world for the better. Even if you discover it’s not your cup of tea, you’ll have learned a valuable skill, and you’ll know more about the exciting and controversial technology called “Synthetic Biology”.

To make this happen, I need your help; this is an all-or-nothing campaign. With your help, I’ll design, test and perfect a piece of synthetic DNA which will launch you on your way to becoming a genetic engineer!

What is IndieBB?

IndieBB stands for “Indie Biotech Backbone”, because I want this to become the ‘backbone’ of your first and future projects, whether for school, for science or when you make the next big thing in biotechnology!

IndieBB is a kit containing a specially-designed sample of DNA and some safe, easy-to-grow bacteria. It contains a petri dish, some nutrients for the bacteria, and comprehensive full-colour instructions for use. Using the kit, you’ll learn how to grow and handle the bacteria, and how to engineer them using the included DNA so that they turn bright fluorescent green:

This kit is designed for beginners! Unlike all other available kits, it does not require any ingredients you can’t buy in a good pharmacy or supermarket. It uses some very clever DNA design ‘under the hood’ to make sure that you don’t need odd materials such as antibiotics, dangerous solvents or impossible-to-find bacterial pheromones. It includes instructions that stick to the easiest methods I can find, so you don’t need special equipment or any prior knowledge.

At the same time, IndieBB is designed to allow you to continue learning and developing your knowledge in a free-form way. It’s designed so you can use it to make your own projects, by learning to edit the DNA to include genes that make biofuel, or produce rare and valuable materials, or help treat medical conditions, or simply make your bacteria smell like bananas! Because IndieBB will be strictly patent free and Open Source, you’ll have every right to use your IndieBB for your own purposes. What will your IndieBB Be?

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