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June 3, 2014

Cat Ferguson

Hi team. It’s nice to see you again. I don’t have much of an intro for you, because it’s time to talk about…

Sexual harassment in biohacking


There’s a discussion in the Google Group right now about a specific case of harassment at Biologigaragen. It was brought to us in great detail by the woman involved, and has sparked some interesting questions about how a non-hierarchical group mediates conflict, as well as a wider discussion about the issue. I think it’s a worthwhile conversation, and as a member of the community, I think you should read it, and maybe even participate.

Hackerspaces can be scary places for women. They can also be great places. Here’s a conversation with a bunch of women in a bunch of hackerspaces talking about their experiences – generally good, but with some frustrating instances of sexism. Hacking tends to be associated with the truly poisonous tech scene, but it doesn’t have to fall prey to that kind of misogyny. It’s really up to you, dear reader. What kind of world do you want to hack in?

Open Biomedical Initiative


On a much more pleasant note, here’s a group making open source biomedical tools. First project is a cheap prosthetic limb using 3D printing. They’re looking for collaborators, so if you’re into that step right this way.

Living forever


Since it might take a while to fix our broken world, let’s all live forever. I don’t really get the impulse, myself, because I have seen vampire movies and know how that works out. This discussion started two years ago, which is nothing to somebody who’s going to live to 400, and got revived again this week for some talk of collaboration between a couple of aspiring Methuselahs. Do with that as you wish.

DIYBio continues to spread

Discussion (UK midlands)

Discussion (Newcastle, UK)

Discussion (Catalonia)

There’s a couple of fledgeling biohackers seeking help on the list this week. If you’re in the area or have advice, shoot them an email!

Bioglow plant

Discussion pt 1

Discussion pt 2

Bioglow Tech is getting better at making plants glow. DIYBiologists have some questions about how it actually works (and if it’s any good), plus an explanation of how the Glowing Plant Project sidestepped Bioglow’s patent.

Craig Venter Institute talks regulations


The JCVI has a new report out on synbio regulations in the US. They specifically call out DIYBio and discuss how commercial ventures coming out of a community lab would be regulated. The verdict on government oversight for synthetic biology: pretty good, although they need some updating to keep up with modern tech, and if things really blow up soon it might be tough for the EPA to keep track of everybody.

3D-printed micropipettes


Here are two. Try them out and report back!

Got something to say? Email me, tweet me, or find me in my hammock, prepping for summer.


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