OpenPCR Do-It-Yourself Open Source PCR Kit Now Shipping

The folks at OpenPCR project have just announced they have started shipping the first batch of OpenPCR kits for your at-home DNA replication pleasure. The OpenPCR is a computer controlled 16 well PCR machine for the lab bench or a workshop/garage, with its own built-in screen. A DIY Xerox machine for DNA built mostly with off the shelf components and free schematics, which does thermal cycling as well as boiling, cooling, and freezing (4C) samples. From the first prototype, development of the OpenPCR took only 14 months, funded through Kickstarter with 158 people bringing in a total of $12,121.

It costs $512 (compared to $3000 for a traditional PCR machine), but you will need to assemble it yourself from the package of parts using tools and instructions that are included. Some of the suggested uses include exposing fraud at sushi restaurants, diagnosing diseases including HIV and H1N1, or exploring your own genome.

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