Christmas Gift Guide 2016: 16 gadget gift ideas for mad scientists

Give the gift of science with our list of awesome experimental tech

Grab your lab coat and put the sonic scalpel on charge: things are about to get scientific.

Christmas might be about coming together and sharing the love over prezzies and grub (apparently), but the real fun is to be had at the makeshift dining table lab, as Dad dissects a mouse and Uncle Jeff jiffies together a genetics machine with little more than some Play-Doh, a microscope and a wire in the mains.

What's more, there's never been a better time to get young boffins scratching their heads: with a chronic shortage of science teachers in the UK, your conscience can be clear as you show your future minions how to raise an army of dinosaurs from the safety of your drone home. Glorious.

23andme Personal Genetics Kit (£149)

If you fancy telling someone about the 100+ health conditions they might have - and the risk factors they’ve probably inherited - you might not be a very nice person. But you very well might want to give them this kit.

Tapping into the vast amounts of data human DNA can reveal, 23andMe will send you a package with all the instructions and tech you need to extract that info. They’ll then do all the testing before giving you your expected death date. OK, that last bit was a lie - but it’s still pretty spooky.

Buy the 23andme Personal Genetics Kit here

Mouse Taxidermy Kit (£30)

Anyone with a Twitter bio that doesn't end in '/taxidermist' needs to take a long, hard look at their extracurricular credentials. Here's where you come in, with this surefire entry into an odd world of pop science and stitching. 

The process takes four hours and the kit includes tanning solution, surgical gloves, PVA glue, galvanised wire, cotton wool, Borax powder and a scalpel. No mouse is included so it's best to buy a (dead) one from an ethical supplier to present the gift as a complete squeak-free package.

Buy the Mouse Taxidermy Kit here

Air Power Engine Car (£12)

Teach your kids an eco lesson with this nifty air-powered car kit.

Piece together its Meccano-like components, pump air into the bottle and - whoosh! - it's travelled 50 metres in 35 seconds. Straight into the new TV. Who needs the Queen's speech, anyway?

Buy the Air Power Engine Car here

Celestron Micro Fi Wi-Fi Handheld Microscope (£200)

No mini-lab would be complete without a dinky microsope - and they don't come much cooler than this Wi-Fi enabled zoomer from Celestron.

Magnify your favourite bugs, rocks and bits of skin up to 80x, whilst streaming the dirty details to a nearby Apple or Android smart device. Sure, you could opt for the less expensive handheld version - but for true mad scientists, cable-free is the way to go.

Buy the Celestron LCD Handheld Digital Microscope here