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This week in DIYbio!

March 26, 2009


Microfluidics, a competition for free sequencing, an abundance of ideas for cheap lab equipment both second-hand and DIY, and thoughtful discussions on the current state of public perception and the future of regulation have made for quite an interesting week in DIYbio.


Bryan Bishop and others experiment with Sharpies and glass slides for making DIY microfluidics.

Why not sequence a genome? Sandra Porter suggests the idea and and Jason Bobe shares a writeup on a likely partner for this, Cofactor Genomics. No sooner does Jason suggest raising funds, and pledges $100 to kick-start the idea, than Tito Jankowski mentions the fact that Cofactor is running a contest for a free ~700Mb sequencing project for education. Follow along on the “Why not sequence a genome?” thread.


Lots of people ask about the best way to get started with a DIY lab setup for doing amateur biology. It turns out that now is a great time to shop for your lab on eBay! Aaron Hicks shares his experience on in the “DIY Lab Setup” discussion thread.

Dan Heidel posts a review of a nice (and affordable) $100 pipetter set.

Cheap CCDs might enable building spectrophotometers and using dynamic light-scattering to probe the sizes of molecules in a solution in the “DIY biophysical setups?” thread.

Regulation and perception

An article from GenomeWeb gets us thinking about the perception by the public and the larger scientific establishment. A prolific discussion ensues.

Bryan Bishop brings up a new report out of U. Virginia “New Life, Old Bottles: Regulating First Generation Products of Synthetic Biology“, with video.

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