9Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero - Preface
Who this book is for:
This book is designed and written for hands-on
learners who have little knowledge of biology or
genetic engineering. This book focuses on the
reader mastering the necessary skills of genetic
engineering while learning about cells and how they
function. The goal of this book is to take you from no
prior biology and genetic engineering knowledge
toward a basic understanding of how a cell functions,
and how they are engineered, all while building the
skills needed to do so.
By the end of this book, if you have completed and
practiced all the exercises, you will have university-
level lab skills in the area of genetic engineering.
This book is not a typical textbook!
While you will nd depth to the content in this book
like you would in an average textbook, Zero to Genetic
Engineering Hero is made to provide you with a rst
glimpse of the inner-workings of a cell. It further
focuses on skill-building for genetic engineering and
the Biology-as-a-Technology mindset (BAAT).
This book has been in the works for several years.
It is the result of a signicant change in the way we
think about biology, the fundamental tools that are
needed, and how to offer a much improved and more
engaging method to teach and learn about biology.
To make the Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero
book possible, a new technology ecosystem needed
to be invented, rened, and deployed. Novel user
experience methodology needed to be developed -
for this, we thank the Amino Labs team and advisers.
A special thank you to Trinity Deak, Josh Friesen,
Grace Young Kwon, and Safwan Akram for their help
in nalizing this edition of the book.
While this book is a departure from what it was
initially thought to become, we want to thank Connor
Dickie and Dr. Ellen Jorgensen for contributions in
an early project with O’Reilly Publishing that did
not come to fruition. This was none-the-less an
important part of the journey.
We would like to thank and acknowledge many who
have helped change the mindset of what genetic
engineering and synthetic biology are. In particular,
members of the Synbiota Inc. team, including Connor
Dickie, Mason Edwards, Pantea Razzaghi, Alex
Meunier, Cliff Lau, Heather McGaw, Vipal Jain, James
Phillips, Britt Wray, and Dave Russell who worked
feverishly in the pursuit of understanding scientic
accessibility to close the gap between scientists
and the general population. In the same vein,
several institutions can be considered pioneering
supporters of the biorevolution - Real Ventures, Joi
Ito, Exponential Biotechnology LLC, Haliburton
County Development Corporation, E14 Fund, the
Shuttleworth Foundation, GrowthX, Pinetree Capital,
Sheldon Inwentash, and SOSV.
Early support for the development of the Amino Labs
technology ecosystem was invaluable. Thank you to
Dr. Natalie Kuldell, Dr. David S. Kong, Alexis Hope,
Dr. Raymond McCauley, Will Bunker, Jorge Conde,
David Strand, Habib Haddad, Calvin Chin, Brett
Proud, Stacie Slotnick, Janine Liberty, J. Philipp
Schmidt, Kevin Slavin and the Playful Systems
group, Andrew Lippman, Lorena Altamirano, Ryan
Bethencourt, Arvind Gupta, Michael Hirsch, Stefanie
Friedhoff, Jamie McIntyre, David Hu, Kamal Farah,
Felix Heilbeck, Basheer Tome, Cory Schmitz, Deepak
Jagdish, Chris Peterson, Bianca Datta, Savannah
Niles, Sands Fish, and Robocut Studio.
We thank Rafael Anta and Jim Rea for being both
fantastic parents in supporting their children’s
education, as well as for all the feedback and help
with rening content in this book.
We are very thankful to our families, friends, and
colleagues for their endless support.
Book _genetic engineering hero-AUG2021.indb 9Book _genetic engineering hero-AUG2021.indb 9 8/18/21 12:03 PM8/18/21 12:03 PM