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Two Weeks in DIYbio

February 27, 2009

Jason Bobe

Howdy, DIYbio! Here are some great threads that have sprung up in the last two weeks. Do discuss!

SageBase – Sean Zuzu mentioned that Merck just pledged a ton of high-resolution, very expensive data to the public domain, along with some software and other resources to make it work.

Legislation – Daniel Crookston posited that DIYbio is eventually going to face government regulation, and that we should consider the shape of self-regulation. Drew Souza, who “is involved in the federal government’s current efforts to address the risks posed by synthetic biology,” weighs in.

DIY competent cells – Sgt. York proposes DIY protocols for making competent cells, and many folks join in. There’s also a discussion of winning cheap electroporators on eBay.

What are Minipreps, anyway? Cory Tobin and Dan Heidel discourse on a variety of methods for purifying plasmid dna, including “salting out” with ethanol precipitation, chloroform precipitation, and CsCl ultracentrifugation.

DIYbio and Syn Bio software – Jason Morrison asks what kinds of software people would like to see or are currently working on. An open-source alternative to VectorNTI seems to be a popular want. Clotho is a great start, and a project that people should contribute to. Clotho has been described as A Plasmid Editor” for BioBricks.

Lego tube shaker – Douglas Ridgway shares a Lego tube shaker that his son built, and Andrew Hessel and Bryan Bishop chip in with suggestions for furthering the prototype and a DIYbio Kids group and Saturday morning show.

Well, that’s it for DIYbio – if you’re up for cooking up a batch of Ultimate Breakfast Sausage or Chocolate Enchiladas, you should check out this week’s MAKE Blog “Weekend Builder” email in my inbox. But if you’re up for cooking up a batch of RFP or gel boxes, let us DIYbioers know!


Post a comment
  1. sgtjoe4 #
    March 1, 2009

    We should develop an inexpensive <$500. diy stem cell extraction kit.

  2. Brian #
    March 19, 2009

    Well, if you want stem cells from a mouse, a pair of scissors and a syringe’ll do it.

  3. Howard Wolinsky #
    April 1, 2009

    I am a US-based correspondent for the Science & Society section in Nature’s EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation) Reports.
    I am starting to research an article on DIY scientists,
    Wondered if you might be willing to speka to me about your work?
    Howard Wolinsky

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