Pieter van Boheemen
Pieter van Boheemen BY
Do it together bio

RocknRoll Biotech course

Pieter van Boheemen (Open Wetlab, Waag) will be one of the participating biohackers that will join the 'RocknRoll Biotech' course at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. His part of this course will take place on February 1st, 2015.

Art and design students will learn the fundamentals of molecular life-sciences, from molecular cell biology to synthetic biology in a 4-daycrash course led by a pan European biohacker team. Students will grow E. coli cells, extract DNA, amplify genes with the PCR method, assemble a novel plasmid vector and subsequently transform it back into E. coli. The created cells will be able to grow on a simple LB broth plate and turn the chemical XGAL into a blue color.

Besides, the cells do not require the use of any antibiotics. The used genetic constructs are LacZ blue stain reaction and colicin bacteriocin self selection. All genetic elements are naturally occurring in E. coli species and will merely be rearranged using synthetic biology technology. No new genes are introduced to the species. The modifications are thus called cis-genetic and are free to use outside of the laboratory in many countries.

Besides the wetware activity, students will learn how to create their own laboratory hardware using lasercutting technology and soldering in a Fablab.

Finally, students will prepare an in depth documentation and artistic interpretation of the work afterwards, using digital media techniques or any other artistic expression of the learnt content and share it in an open source manner online with the global DIY-bio community and public.

The course will be given by the following team of biohackers:

  • Rüdiger Trojok
  • Eugenio Battaglia
  • Urs Gaudenz
  • Jaden Hastings
  • Andreas Stürmer
  • Pieter van Boheemen




Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland