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Weekly news

July 8, 2014

Cat Ferguson

Happy fourth of July from New York! I hope all you Americans had some good grilled meat or vegan equivalents, and you non-Americans didn’t get too jealous of our fireworks displays.

DNA synthesizer tear-down


Long-time list member Nathan McCorkle ripped appart a 1989 Applied Biosystems PCR machine, so you don’t have to. Here’s a link to the step-by-step unveiling of the innards. If you happen to have one of your own and you’re looking for some advice, you can always consult the user manual – or just email the list, seems like there’s plenty of people who love old bio- gadgetry.

Hello world: UK hackerspace sends out feelers RE DIYBio


Up-and-coming hackerspace the Dorset Constructororium, in south-east Dorset, has set up camp in a garage, and they’re looking to expand. Once they’ve got a bigger place, they’re hoping to get involved with DIYBio projects – if you’re in the neighborhood, you should say hello!

“Bio-tinkering” internship in Amsterdam


From Pieter van Boheemen:

At Waag Society’s Open Wetlab we are looking for an intern to research our Biotinkering activities. If you are a student, this is an unique opportunity to combine your studies and DIYBio!

Informed by the principles of participatory mediated informal knowledge communities (Jenkins et al. 2006, Schäfer 2011, Resnick & Rosenbaum 2013) one of our lab’s goals is to perpetuate literate DIY-Biologists by teaching the required skills and critical thought. Social scientists that studied our activities, such as the “Do-It-Together Bio” events and “Open Wetlab = Open” evenings, brought to light the need for facilitated Biotinkering as an intermediary stage between the former fully guided workshops and the latter completely open ended events.

The ideal candidate has an interest in the concepts of tinkering, learning-by-making, the field of bio art and bio design, Do-It-Yourself Biology and/or citizen science and wants to gain experience in micromobilisation, participatory culture, communication and user framing. Using Waag Society’s “Users as Designers” methodology you will conduct creative action research that will include hands-on workshops and informal mentorship of lab users.

More information can be found on

There is also a second open internship position in a project concerning open drug discovery and antibiotics. A full description can be found here:

Interns are paid 300 Euro a month. For more information, or to apply, email Pieter here.


Now or any time, email or tweet me with good news or bad; just please don’t forget me, like a vial of smallpox in the back of a fridge.

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