I love the description in the first paragraph of what sounds like a mad scientist Lego Machine mixed with Dr. Frankenstein designer labware and tormented bacteria. And, it would all fit on the desk in your dorm room or spare bedroom:
"Say hello to the evolution machine. It can achieve in days what takes genetic engineers years. So far it is just a prototype, but if its proponents are to be believed, future versions could revolutionise biology, allowing us to evolve new organisms or rewrite whole genomes with ease. It might even transform humanity itself."That last line is pretty bold, but it's the aim of a geneticist from Harvard Medical School named George Church. His group has created this machine designed to "evolve" biological organisms using "highly directed evolution." This method of genetic engineering has been christened MAGE - Multiplex Automated Genome Engineering.