October 11, 2008
We had a great summer getting DIYbio off the ground. A suspicion that the era of DIY biology was upon us led to a kick-off meeting at Asgard’s pub in Cambridge only 5 short months ago. In the months that followed, we investigated simple DIY protocols like DNA extraction and gel electrophoresis, we hacked what we could, shared ideas about what the future might hold, and even managed to get a little press. There is even a group of DIYbioers springing up on the west coast. Yay!
So, what’s next for DIYbio? Come find out, share your ideas, and learn how to get involved on Thursday, October 16th from 7-9pm, in room 56-114 at MIT (see map). Everyone is invited! Yes, everyone! Bring new people! Let’s fill up the auditorium!
The evening will begin with a few short lightning-style talks on projects we’re embarking on for 2008-2009, including:
1. Public Wetlab (Mac Cowell): A lab where anyone can learn how to tinker with biology and get hands-on training in cutting edge techniques. Let’s work on a project for iGEM 2009 in this space. Let’s boot up the lab by on our own or partner with an existing school. And let’s set a standard of safety, responsibility and transparency for the bio-maker community.
2. FlashLabs BioWeatherMap (Jason Bobe): Flash mobs meet consumer-generated science in the new DIYbio initiative FlashLabs, where we’ll be pulling-off a new large-scale collaborative science project annually for amateurs and enthusiasts worldwide. First up: the BioWeatherMap. Ever wonder how the microbial communities living on cross-walk buttons in Boston compare to those in San Francisco, or Manhattan, or the cross-walk nearest your home? We’re going to find out and you can get involved. Self-assembly required!
3. Smart Lab (Jason Morrison): Hardware hacking lab instruments, large-format multitouch displays, and a physical computing interface with real-time sample tracking and data logging meets a beautiful and natural way for scientists to learn, research, visualize, and share their work. Intelligent and interactive protocol guides, intuitive data manipulation and transformation, and livestreaming your science to an electronic lab notebook are a few components of this cross-disciplinary project. And go open source or go home!
Would you like to present an idea for a DIYbio project or share your thoughts? Email us, or post a comment here! We have a couple of extra 5-minute slots available. We’ll also reserve time for discussion about DIYbio as a community and an organization, including issues related to openness and safety.