June 24, 2014
Hello world: first DIYBio space in South America
Synthetic Biotechnology Research, or syntechbio, introduced itself to the list this week. They’re working on a bunch of projects, including one called Hibrida. Their description:
Our first project explores the development of reality enhancers. Lets enhance our human capacities and become superheroes, enhance our vision capacity, our listening skills. We are going to prototype open source electrical equipment to do all this and explore the plasticity of the biological material to expand our interaction with the environment.
The group has already finished several projects on genomics. They manage the São Paulo University iGEM team, and have a diverse range of interests, from nanotech to astrobiology. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next!
A reminder – if you’re looking for a local group, we’ve got just the place for you. Head over to our list of locals. And if you want to be listed on there, shoot the group an email!
Dutch report on DIYBio in the Netherlands
It’s all in Dutch, which I don’t speak, so I’ll let Dutch citizen scientist Pieter van Boheemen explain the report:
The report consists of a characterization of DIYBio along four quadrants: hobbyism, activism, art and science. It’s based on interviews, a workshop and literature research. Next, it describes the tools, methods and materials; biosafety and biosecurity; and attempts to characterize the (future) social implications of the movement.
The chairman of the advisory committee has send the report to the State Secretary for Infrastructure and the Environment. In his letter he basically states that DIYBio has the potential to contribute to education and bridging the gap between science and society. He says it serves as an inspiration for innovation. He finds the likelihood of biosecurity issues small. He asks the government to provide easy accessible information on GMO regulations and biosafety guidelines to prevent accidents, referring to the “ask a biosafey expert” service in the USA.