The world of scientifically-based toys has come a long way since the first chemistry sets joined mechano sets as the toys of the well-heeled next generation scientists some 50 years ago. As scientific knowledge has advanced, so too has the sophistication of the toys available, and we were recently surprised to find something as advanced as the Discovery DNA Explorer Kit on the market.

The Discovery Kids DNA Explorer has propelled the traditional chemistry set into the 21st century by offering kids a provocative and fun way to experience today's most cutting-edge science: DNA mapping. This first-of-its- kind lab gives kids the real-world tools and know-how to extract, view and map real DNA, and get a taste of the excitement of science and discovery.

The lab comes with all the supplies needed for ten DNA experiments, including a real centrifuge, magnetic mixer and electrophoresis chamber.

The 2004 winner of the prestigious "Parent's Choice Gold Award", the highest honour offered by the US Parents' Choice Foundation, a leading independent reviewer of children's toys and media, the kit has also been listed by leading magazine Popular Science in its "Best of What's New List".

The award-winning toy is part of a growing Discovery Kids line of products that build on the Discovery Channel's popular science and investigative programming. The Discovery Kids line is available at http://www.discoverystore.com/.

The most surprising aspect is the price - US$79.95 - and you can buy it online.