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 Community Lab Proposal 
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:18 am
Posts: 26
Post Re: Community Lab Proposal
chimeraboy wrote:
Agreed with all points. As I told before, I know a few biohackers who were just allowed into universities. As for my own biohacking project, which attempts to make a carbon monoxide biosensor using hemoglobin associated proteins, I got a lot of help from advisors at the university when I needed something.

However, I think making a hackerspace for biology gives more good publicity, especially if it is marketed more as "people who enjoy learning biology so much, they are taking it to the next logical step".


I honestly think that you will have more success with your proposal than working with the University. As was previously stated, there are likely proprietary issues. Not just with the University, but also the PI of the labs you work in.

Furthermore, association with a University will bring credit to the University, and less to the fact you are an independent worker.


Fri May 27, 2011 1:44 am
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Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:08 am
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Post Re: Community Lab Proposal
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Furthermore, association with a University will bring credit to the University, and less to the fact you are an independent worker.


Not really. In the situation of the teenager I was talking about, he wasn't under direct supervision at all times. It was truly his project. He did talk to his PI a lot; getting new suggestions and of course getting access to his equipment. I think it is important to get in with some iGEM -associated people-they are really the people who are currently working on making efficient and easy molecular biology for amateurs.

I understand you being skeptical; there are a lot of liability issues in having untrained people in your lab. That is why I do think that ultimately it may be better to make a hackerspace.

I think that biohackers will find new and innovative ways to help the costs of a wetlab, like producing their own enzymes, potato-dextrose agar, using 3D Printers, and other cheap alternatives to expensive lab stuff.

I did want to note that I get really annoyed with "student researchers" who latch themselves on to PhD labs, do basic computer modelling, and then take the credit for the project.


Fri May 27, 2011 5:43 am
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 10:43 pm
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Location: Sweden
Post Re: Community Lab Proposal
Quote:
Teaching labs are designed for lab course components of the lecture courses. I'm not sure you realize this, but Universities have huge liabilities when it comes to these labs. They are not simply open to the public for use.


I don't think the idea is that the labs should be open to the public. The idea is that thet should be opened for (interested) students and gradually and hopefully this will bring about a development where public labs will open. Not necessarily in universities.

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Certainly it is possible for a "club" to do something along these line, but it would be required to have a professor to sponser it and likely supervise it. The maintaining a wet lab is not cheap either. A tube of only a few microliters of enzyme can run up to a hundred dollars.


I don't think anybody is saying the labs should be unsupervised and unsponsered. If that is what the university requires then those issues will have to be resolved. I don't believe issues like these are that difficult to solve. The funding issue is the most difficult to solve. But this is an issue you will have with a hackerspace too.

I am not saying one way is better than the other. Actually I think both the university suggestion and the public hackerspace suggestion are possible and they both have my support. But I think the university idea is a bit easier to pull off. Because most things needed or most basic things are already in place and there is only an approval from the university that is needed. But if it turns out hackerspaces are easier to pull off then great. We need to make things happening and I don't really care if it through a university or if it is something else.


Fri May 27, 2011 1:21 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:08 am
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Post Re: Community Lab Proposal
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But I think the university idea is a bit easier to pull off. Because most things needed or most basic things are already in place and there is only an approval from the university that is needed


Approval from the university is incredibly difficult. Everything basically lies in that. If you don't have funding, the university will not give approval. If you don't have ethics approval, the university will not give approval. If you don't have lab safety courses, you will not be able to work in a university. Basically, there is a whole bureaucratic system that runs universities. In a hackerspace, none of those bureaucracies would be present. The only issue is funding, and the individual creativity of the biohackers present would definitely make up for that. As well, http://www.kickstarter.com/ is a great website for biohackers. There are a few hackerspaces, such as BioCurious, which have gotten thousands of dollars from kickstarter.


Tue May 31, 2011 11:32 pm
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 10:43 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Sweden
Post Re: Community Lab Proposal
Quote:
Approval from the university is incredibly difficult. Everything basically lies in that. If you don't have funding, the university will not give approval. If you don't have ethics approval, the university will not give approval. If you don't have lab safety courses, you will not be able to work in a university. Basically, there is a whole bureaucratic system that runs universities. In a hackerspace, none of those bureaucracies would be present. The only issue is funding, and the individual creativity of the biohackers present would definitely make up for that. As well, http://www.kickstarter.com/ is a great website for biohackers. There are a few hackerspaces, such as BioCurious, which have gotten thousands of dollars from kickstarter.


Yea, I agree. It will be difficult to get an approval and I am prepared for that. It is still probably worth a try. There are a lot of gains if it can be pulled of. I mean there is another factor that needs to be taken into consideration, and that is what part of the world you are in. I'm in Sweden. Here we don't have a lot of people that are interested in biopunking/biohacking. Actually the only ones I know that are interested in this stuff in Sweden are Splicer and I. So even if we against all odds could find the funding and build a hackerspace, no one would probably show up except me and Splicer :)

In a university enviroment there are some basic stuff in the course labs, a lot of ways to try to interest student, and maybe if lucky some funding through the budget for the courses. And again, of course it will be difficult. But easier to pull of than a hackerspace.

I the US you have another situation. You have more interested people, you have already good experiance from DIY in other areas than biology, you have pulled off some hackerspaces and so on. We don't have any of this in Sweden.

So maybe different approches will work better in different countries?


Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:08 am
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