Gene Gun Hack

Rüdiger Trojok

28 March 2012

bioLAB

A gene gun is a bio-ballistics device used to shoot a particle of gold coated with DNA into a cell. Once inside, the injected DNA can separate from its carrier particle and become integrated into the cell’s genetic material. The gene gun is thus one of the most important tools used in modern biology. Many of today’s genetically modified plants have been produced with this technology. But at several thousand euros apiece, its high retail price meant that only professional labs could afford to own this equipment. Then, biologist Rüdiger Trojok succeeded in building a gene gun of his own, and in slashing the cost to a mere 50 euros.