January 22, 2009
Happy (very) belated New Year, DIYbioers! I want to recount some of the exciting high points of the past few months, and share some hopes for 2009.
Local groups outside the Boston area are sprouting up and folks are getting some quality kitchen table time, as my friend Justin calls it. DIYbio Seattleites had their first meetup, about which Sandy Porter published an excellent article, and Bay Area DIYbiologists met up in San Francisco. If you are looking to start or join a local group, add an entry to the Local Groups page.
There’s been a surge of new interest as several articles and blog posts were published. We’re more than 500 members on the mailing list, which is very exciting! I had an idea that there were hundreds (if not thousands) of enthusiastic amateur biologists out there, and it’s great to see them coming together. I’d love to see a DIYbio conference during 2009, and get to meet all you DIYbioers in person. CodeCon 2009 will be another great chance to do just this, with a new Biohack! track that is currently in open CFP.
Several projects have also sprung up and are progressing in earnest, including building a melamine biosensor, probiotics that produce vitamin C, cheap and open source biology tools, and the seeds of one or more DIYbio iGEM teams. Hardware projects have sprung up as well, with an open-source turbidostat, the Gel Box 2.0 project, and integration/UX research going on with Project SmartLab.
The BioWeatherMap project has enjoyed quite significant progress, and will soon become a PersonalGenomes.org project in collaboration with DIYbio. This is great news, and I hope to see the BioWeatherMap take off over the next few months.
I’m really pumped about this, and look forward to seeing all of the fantastic projects come to fruition!