Revision as of 03:32, 27 October 2010 by KarinaA (Talk | contribs)


GENOMIKON ONLINE - Companion Software

To assist students in performing their very first molecular biology experiments, we created an online, electronic lab manual to walk them through the process. At, users of the kit will find an electronic, interactive lab manual. Bringing the lab manual into the twenty-first century, compliments the kit. It will not only inform students, but also empower them to create their own experiments and share them with the world in an online, DYI molecular biology community.

The Lab Manual

Get started with your first molecular biology experiments

A page out of the lab manual.
Users can upload photos of their results

The lab manual starts with a set of experiments of predefined experiments, selected with several criteria in mind:

  • Fun
  • Completable using only materials available in the kit
  • Teach concepts that inline with a high school biology curriculum
  • Extend beyond the traditional curriculum to inspire students

We used the Province of Alberta's high school curriculum as a model.

As the students progress through the experiments, they can take notes and even upload images of their results.

Plasmid Design Tool

Design your own experimental plasmids

In silico plasmid designer

To expand the beyond the traditional "recipe in a cookbook" model of the high school science lab, students are encouraged to design their own plasmids and experiments. With's intuitive Plasmid Designer, designing their own unique plasmids is as simple as dragging and dropping parts together on a screen. Students can stick together any combination of the parts available in the kit in silico with the guidance of the software to ensure certain specifications are met (ie, the plasmid has an origin of replication, it has some sort of selectable marker, incompatible ends have not been stuck together, etc).

Learn more about the plasmid designer here

Try the plasmid designer out for yourself right now

Software-Automated Protocol Generation

After students design a valid plasmid for an experiment, the software automatically generates a protocol to create that plasmid and transform into cells using only materials that are available in the kit. Afterwards, the student can add further instructions and descriptions to the experimental plan to show how the transformed cells are to be used. Then, the experimental plan can be published and let loose into the online community at, where other students and molecular biology experiments can try the experiment themselves.

The Encyclopedia

Develop a deeper understanding

The encyclopaedia index

To offer some extra context to the experiments, we have included a selection of articles about synthetic biology and various biology concepts relating to the kit and the high school curriculum. They are integrated with the experiments and also available separately for review.

An Integrated Glossary

The glossary, showing a mouse-over popup for a glossary term.

We have an integrated glossary throughout the website for easy access to definitions. Any glossary terms that appear in the experimental protocols and descriptions can be defined by simply hovering the mouse over a term and reading the popup text.

Student and User Groups

Bringing the classroom online

High school teachers can create and administer user groups and have their students join it. This brings the classroom together online, and gives teachers control over their students' online activities at

DYI Bio enthusiasts are also encouraged to create and join user groups, giving them the ability to network, communicate, and collaborate with other enthusiasts around the world.