I think that a recent Wired piece on low cost biotechnology reinforces the points I have made on the future of open source biotechnology development and healthy life extension.
The era of garage biology is upon us. Want to participate? Take a moment to buy yourself a molecular biology lab on eBay. A mere $1,000 will get you a set of precision pipettors for handling liquids and an electrophoresis rig for analyzing DNA. Side trips to sites like BestUse and LabX (two of my favorites) may be required to round out your purchases with graduated cylinders or a PCR thermocycler for amplifying DNA. If you can't afford a particular gizmo, just wait six months - the supply of used laboratory gear only gets better with time. Links to sought-after reagents and protocols can be found at DNAHack. And, of course, Google is no end of help.
Still, don't expect to cure cancer right away, surprise your loved ones with a stylish new feather goatee, or crank out a devilish frankenbug. (Instant bioterrorism is likely beyond your reach, too.) The goodies you buy online require practice to use properly. The necessary skills may be acquired through trial and error, studying online curricula, or taking a lab course at a community college. Although there are cookbook recipes for procedures to purify DNA or insert it into a bacterium, bench biology is not easy; the many molecular manipulations required to play with genes demand real skills.
A wide range of applied biotechnology development is no more complicated than applied electronics - and the present results of the work of an initially small group of garage entrepreneurs in that field are fairly impressive. Good things happen when the price point of participation becomes low enough: there's never any shortage of ideas and skill compared to capital.