You know how I promised you something really cool a few updates ago? Well, here is the project I will be undertaking next, using the $5 Polymerase Chain reactor!
What happens when you cross the DNA of a Jellyfish found off the coast of California, a Human, and a species of Japanese Coral?
...and then you go and add the combined DNA to an intestinal-inhabiting Bacteria? A whole lot of awesome is what I hope, as we try and create a nanobot that can optically display Calcium concentrations! Welcome to biohacking!
Here's the rough outline of the Hack: We use the DNA sequence from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria that encodes its Green Fluorescent Protein, and the Orange fluorescent Protein from the kusabira-ish coral, both from available plasmids. Muscles contract when nerves impulses lead to Calcium concentration increases in muscle cells. The interwoven fibers are pulled together by trillions of bio-nano-bots, after Calcium unlocks the blocking-bot. By using PCR to read out the spaced DNA sequence of Human DNA and the fluorescent proteins, and using some Phage proteins to join the DNA strands into a circular plasmid, we can fool Bacteria into reading the fused instructions, and build our bio-nanobot-sensors for us. The sensor works by the shape-changing effects of Calcium on the sensor, and translating this to a change in color! So, this bio-nanobot-sensor should change from glowing green to orange (or vice versa?), as the amount of Calcium in a solution increases.
$5 Polymerase Reactor Update:
I've also update the PCB and Schematics, so now it uses surface mount components on a single-layer board! That should save a few more cents!