Bringing DNA Science to Places Never Imagined Before, From the Lab to Your Classroom, and Now Into Space

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The study of DNA has historically been confined to the research laboratory, making it challenging for teachers to bring to the classroom. MIT Research Scientists and Amplyus co-founders Sebastian Kraves and Zeke Alvarez-Saavedra discovered a solution to this problem with the miniPCR™, a revolutionary way to perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in places never thought possible.

Genes In Space Competition

We are proud of our partnerships to promote STEM education.

We are living in the age of the genome, whereby most everyone on our planet is somehow affected by DNA science research. There is a continuing global effort to solve today’s most pressing issues, an effort that must also extend to the next generation of scientists and engineers by fostering individuals’ curiosity about DNA during early education.

There are challenges to making DNA science available to every teacher, everywhere. The study of DNA has historically been confined to the research laboratory. It also involves sophisticated and costly technology. These are problems that MIT Research Scientists and Amplyus co-founders Sebastian Kraves and Zeke Alvarez-Saavedra understand well.

Their answer to these problems is the miniPCR™, a revolutionary way to perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in places never thought possible. The unit is small enough to fit atop your hand, making it portable enough to use in the field. It provides the same quality, reliability, and reproducibility of professional benchtop thermal cyclers at a fraction of the cost. The intuitive PCR software that drives the unit works on any smart device, and allows a student to monitor and analyze the process in real time. "miniPCR™ is revolutionizing the way scientists, doctors and, for the first time, high school students engage with DNA analysis," said Dr. Sebastian Kraves.

The miniPCR technology is featured in the national STEM competition, “Genes in Space,” where students in grades 7 through 12 are challenged to design a DNA experiment that addresses real-life space exploration challenges. Read more about this year’s competition here. The winner of this competition will have his or her experiment brought to the International Space Station to have the experiment conducted in its unique environment. "We are proud of our partnerships to promote STEM education. Through Genes in Space™ we work closely with educators to provide innovative professional development opportunities, equipment, and supplies to promote authentic research in schools," added Dr. Ezequiel Alvarez Saavedra.

The tool brought DNA science to the farthest reaches of our planet and beyond and is now available to all educators, their labs, and their classrooms through Carolina Biological Supply Co. and its partnership with the creators of miniPCR. “Today’s science students want to work on real-world problems using the latest technology. Our partnership with miniPCR provides educators an affordable opportunity to help their students achieve this goal,” asserts Dr. Mark Meszaros, Vice President of Core Product Management & Innovation at Carolina Biological Supply Company.

Meet the miniPCR here.
Carolina Biological Supply Company is now a leading supplier of biotechnology teaching materials. They are proud to be partnered with leaders in the industry to supply the most innovative, high-quality teaching kits and equipment available. Today, from its headquarters in Burlington, North Carolina, Carolina Biological Supply serves customers worldwide—including teachers, professors, home-school educators, and professionals in health and science-related fields.

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Jacki Williams
Carolina Biological Supply Company
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