Bento Lab Bioworks
A mobile genomics setup, Bento Lab combines a portable PCR machine, a microcentrifuge, gel electrophoresis and a transilluminator. And it fits into any laptop bag, so Bento Lab can travel wherever your science goes.
Bento Bioworks, a London-based company, has launched a miniature DNA laboratory into serial production that can be used literally "on the kitchen table."
We accidentally became one of the first buyers of this device. The compact, real-life Bento Lab demonstrates how far genetic research technology has advanced in the past few years. In total, about 10 years ago, such equipment cost tens of thousands of dollars, and today we see how much the cost and dimensions of such equipment have decreased.
According to the developers, this device is capable of "copying DNA and doing basic DNA analysis", and it is intended for a wide range of potential users, including students, professionals conducting in-field analyzes, as well as people who are interested in biotechnology.
The installation comes with detailed instructions, so if you follow them exactly, you can really become a DNA researcher and not violate safety rules. What can be done with such a device?
Here are just a few examples cited by the developers:
- Investigate your genetic characteristics;
- Test your ability to taste bitter tastes by testing your PTC gene variations;
- See how blood typing works;
- Test your genetics for endurance by analyzing your “athlete gene” (ACTN3);
- Test your food at the molecular level;
- Test the hamburger for horsemeat; Identify genetically modified foods (GMOs) and learn more about genetic engineering;
Bento Lab is a portable mobile genomics setup. The compact laboratory is equipped with thermal cycler (1) a microcentrifuge (2), a blue LED transilluminator (3) and a gel electrophoresis power supply used with an external gel electrophoresis container (4). The system is operated using an intuitive on-board graphical interface (5), and comes with a convenient tube rack (6). Bento Lab is a professional laboratory device, and although it is also used in educational settings, it is not a toy. Read this manual carefully, in particular sections on safety, before using the device.