diy bio

Do-it-yourself biology (DIY biology, DIY bio) is a growing biotechnological social movement in which individuals, communities, and small organizations study biology and life science using the same methods as traditional research institutions. DIY biology is primarily undertaken by individuals with extensive research training from academia or corporations, who then mentor and oversee other DIY biologists with little or no formal training. This may be done as a hobby, as a not-for-profit endeavor for community learning and open-science innovation, or for profit, to start a business.

 

Did you know that you can also follow the BioHack Academy online? All lessons are recorded and shown on the video channel.

 

The Dutch newspaper Trouw published an article on 'DIY DNA' about two Americans who developed their own genetic therapy. Lucas Evers of our Open Wetlab gives his reaction.

 

What is a biohacker, what does a biohacker do and why should anyone become one? With the BioHack Academy #5 around the corner we listed 7 reasons why.

 

The Science Bus and its crew are under way. Till November 2017 the Science Bus will tour through Europe bringing workshops and tools to investigate the world around you.

 

The Dutch magazine 'LABinsights' published an article in which Xiamyra Daal explains more about our Open Wetlab, the BioHack Academy and DIY bio at the Waag, titled 'Biohacken is not a kind of amateurism'. The article is available in Dutch only.

 

The approaching merge of bio and information technology influences the way in which we can alter living organisms and the speed of this development. We understand more about the building blocks of life, and have an increased opportunity to program life (with technologies like CRISPR).

 

The speed at which our biotechnological world is changing makes it difficult to reflect on how we feel about it. Het Praktikum offers a platform for this, during the first edition we analyzed CRISPR technology and debat.

 

Some weeks ago, the fourth edition of the BioHack Academy started. During this international course, the participants build their own biolab. To be able to do so, they first learn about 3D drawing and everything about the electronics used in the equipment.

 

Xandra van der Eijk worked at the Open Wetlab for two months and now calls herself a ‘biology pro’. What happened, we wanted to know.

 

The creaky wooden floor in the Theatrum Anatonicum of the Waag was covered in white, the vodka for a DNA extraction experiment was ice cold, and the 3D printer warming up. Waag's Do-It-Yourself Healthcare Clinic was about to open its doors to the public—or, rather, to prospective creators and 'patients'.

 

We went looking for bacteria in the red light district of Amsterdam, to map microbes in the area. An image report.

 

Over the last four years, the Dutch Do It Yourself Biology (DIY Bio) community has continued to incubate and grow within the walls of Waag's Open Wetlab. Their research relating to biological applications of hardware, software, wetware, and other DIY tools is never dull, and there's always a twist. Why? Because its the participants who decide what to do during the open evenings, who inspire each other by sharing their research results, and who freely allow each other to participate in their projects. Last week, we celebrated the end of the winter/spring season. So now is a good time to look back on what we've done.

 

Our Open Wetlab and it's founder, Pieter van Boheemen, are part of an exhibition at the Science Museum in London, called 'Beyond the Lab: The DIY Science Revolution', that opens on 7 July 2016. Newspaper The Guardian already wrote an interesting article about the upcoming exhibition: Citizen science: how the net is changing the role of amateur researchers.

 

Researchers, policymakers and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry met in Groningen at the Antibiotics-Now! conference to speak about antibiotics. The title of the conference sounds catchy and expresses humanity's urgent need for new antibiotics. Although I cannot argue with this call to action, I would like first to pause for a moment to reflect on the situation surrounding antibiotics.

 

Our Open Wetlab is for anyone who is interested in learning about and making new cool bio-concepts and bio-things.

 

During the debut of Waag's Petshop project, we exhibited the individual work of one of the project's initiators: María Boto Ordoñez. María is the founder of PET*IT, a line of designer accessories and toys for microorganisms. Recently, we decided to ask María about where she got her inspiration for treating microorganisms as pampered pets.

 

3-11-2015

Got microbes?

Each October, thousands of designers gather in the city of Eindhoven to present their works to the public during Dutch Design Week. This year, Waag wondered: what would it look like if we treated micro-organisms with the same care and attention that we give to our dogs, our cats, our fish—even our plants? To explore this question, we brought to life the microbial pet shop from the Open Wetlab.

 

The second edition of the BioHack Academy has began: brave biohackers from all over the world are taking part in this exciting project, that will teach them how to build their own cheap and OpenSource biolab in Do-It-Together/Hands-On-Knowledge style, and start growing superfood, fuel, fabrics, natural pigments and much more bio-stuff.

 

Waag's Open Wetlab is present at the SXSW (South by Southwest) 2015 festival in Austin, Texas (USA). Our biotechnology lab presents five projects at the festival, on invitation of the Fund Creative Industries NL.

 

The Dutch Commission Genetic modification (COGEM) has published a report on the use of genetic modified organisms in exhibitions.

 

The New Material exhibition opened in the New Institute in Rotterdam includes two projects that were realized in the Open Wetlab.

 

In every corner of the recently opened Hackuarium in Lausanne plenty of unopened crates can be found. Autoclaves, acid chambers, bio reactors and lot of glass items are piled up to the ceilings - waiting, no, begging for a biohacker to give them a second life.

 

The European KiiCS Award on arts and science for innovation went to “Lab Easy: DIY Biology for the Bio-Curious” – a new educational concept, and to “Slave for Love” – an oxytocin detecting device.

 

Willem Duijvelshoff visited our event Do It Together Bio about Hacking HIV for Motherboard and reports (in Dutch).

 

The definition of Do-It-Yourself Bio (DIY Bio) is not trivial. So when the Dutch governmental advisory committee on genetic modification asked us to write a report on DIY Bio in The Netherlands we were faced with the challenge to create a definition beyond the often portrayed “I don't know what it is, but recognize it when I see it” argument.

 

With the global population possibly growing towards 10 billion people in 2040, finding a solution for the world's food problem is becoming increasingly more urgent. What if you could provide your own proteins, by growing algae at home?

 

For the second time I was a guest at Zapplive, a live broadcasted show on television. This time I worked with the kids on an experiment in neuroscience. With a simple setup you can show how the brain is controlling our muscles. Every move we make starts at our brains: from kicking a ball to making a boxing movement.

 

Running DNA tests, creating electricity with biologic materials or using muscle power to make sounds? Within three interactive workshops Waag showed youngsters between 14 and 17 years old what biotech is all about.

 

Come explore DIY neurology on 4 April 2014! We make some easy hacks: take control over someone else's arm, hear a neuron spike and build your own cyborg.

 

In January 2014, we organise a two-day DIY Bio-Logic workshop during which designers, biohackers, artists, developers and architects make 2/3D structures of organic, super fertile material which will be colonized by living organisms.

 

This year's digital art forum Re-New in Copenhagen featured several exciting works of video, sound and interaction art. Although biotechnology is not often regarded as a medium, a number of biotechnological performances and installations effectively bridged this gap.

 

The European network of Do-It-Yourself Biologists (DIYBio) is growing. Apart from it's informal mailing list, it is exploring additional tentative meaningful purposes for it's existence. That's why the network was invited by the COST action on Tuesday October 15 in Brussels.

 

In June this year many BIY biologists from all parts of Europa came to Amsterdam for the opening of our Open Wetlab. Some members of the Hacker Space Groningen immediately saw the possibilities of the public lab. Back at their own FabLab, they started working on their own equipment. At the Mini Maker Faire they proudly showed off their results.

 

On Monday August 5th 2013, an article appeared in the financial daily newspaper 'Financieel Dagblad' about new workspaces with expensive machines. Our Open Wetlab is introduced as one of them by Pieter van Boheemen.

 

On Friday, the 2nd of August, we participated at OHM 2013 (Observe Hack Make 2013), with two different workshops. The challenge was not only to successfully present the workshops, but to intrigue participants from all around the world to observe, hack, make with us and interact with each other.

 

Waag has opened the first Open Wetlab in the Netherlands at the Waag in Amsterdam.

 

Last year at Kickstarter the project Twine was launched, a turquoise box full of sensors. The promise of this device with a standard set of accelerometers, thermometers and other sensors was that you could easily set up a measuring device, that can send you alerts wirelessly when a certain preset condition is met.

 

Webcams are nowadays almost always integrated in computers, so what to do with all those left-over webcams? Hack them!

 

At Do it Together Bio #4 on 3 April 2013 we worked with Aliibrio ficheri, bacteria that are bioluminescence, made 3D prints with living material and we built a bioprinter from old HP printers after the model by BioCurious at Instructables. During the workshop artist Allison Kudla told about her work and Branislav Misovic and Jelle Boomstra shared their experiences with 3D printing of living tissue.

 

We’re making a fresh start with our Open Wetlab on November 16th. We'll be working with do-it-yourself biologists on bottom-up innovation: new machines, techniques and protocols – often cheaper than regular lab equipment, like a low-cost malaria tester. Anyone with an interest in biology and life sciences can get started in our lab.