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 Projects? Labs? What are you working on?? 
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Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:26 am
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Post Projects? Labs? What are you working on??
Just wondering what kind of projects any of you are working on or interested in working on in the future. I've been browsing through some cool bioluminescence articles, but I'm not currently set up to do any projects at the moment. I'm thinking about building a space in my garage within the year. Anybody else?


Sun Apr 20, 2008 7:36 am
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Location: Sweden
Post Re: Projects? Labs? What are you working on??
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Projects? Labs? What are you working on??


I wonder about that too. I don´t think there are that many garage labs out there yet. The first gathering I know of, outside a university setting, happens May 1:st in Cambridge MA. Their google group is an interesting read. It includes people involved in iGEM and a few postdocs but it doesn't seem to be affiliated with a university. The meeting is held in the back of a pub. Their google group can be found at http://www.diybio.org.

The most beautiful biohack I can think of would have to do with building a simple solution to some previously unsolvable problem.

Something along the lines of what the Edinburgh iGEM 2006 team did:

They hacked E.coli to detect arsenic in drinking water. If the bacteria finds arsenic it makes the solution it's in acid and a acid-indicator changes the color of the solution. The previous arsenic detection method was cumbersome, expensive and gave a 30% false negative. The iGEM teams method can be administered by untrained personnel and costs about 1$. Apparently there are unsafe levels of arsenic in a tenth of American waters and it affects 100million people world wide. People get cancer from it.

It's just one of those elegant solutions.

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Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:56 pm
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Post Re: Projects? Labs? What are you working on??
I browse the DIYbio group from time to time. I hope to see more of these meetings sprout up in other cities.


Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:07 am
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:19 pm
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Post Re: Projects? Labs? What are you working on??
Splicer wrote:
They hacked E.coli to detect arsenic in drinking water. If the bacteria finds arsenic it makes the solution it's in acid and a acid-indicator changes the color of the solution.



How difficult would it be to try and repeat this sort of experiment as a first step before trying to come up with your own ideas? Where do you get the E.coli and biobricks? What kind of equipment do you need to modify the E.coli?


Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:10 pm
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Post Re: Projects? Labs? What are you working on??
sSpr0ck3t wrote:
How difficult would it be to try and repeat this sort of experiment as a first step before trying to come up with your own ideas? Where do you get the E.coli and biobricks? What kind of equipment do you need to modify the E.coli?

You ask the good questions

The short answer is that I'm not sure because I haven't done it myself yet.

To my knowledge there isn't a minimal list of equipment needed to engineer with BioBricks. I think the reason is that it's basic equipment every high school wetlab has.

If no research has to be done the process seems to be mixing the ingredients, manipulating temperatures and maybe centrifuging while keeping everything clean.

DNA is normally expensive. If made to order a really good price is 20c/bp and most bricks are over 2000bp long. This year iGEM distributes the parts registry as blots in a binder. I don't know if the binder is for sale outside the competition. The BioBricks in it are, as I suspect you know, open source.

The bioDIY community needs an official, peer reviewed compilation of protocols and minimal equipment to do iGEM. If no one sits down and writes one today, some one else will do it tom.

Maybe there already is one and I just haven't seen it.

- Splicer

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Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:40 pm
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Post Re: Projects? Labs? What are you working on??
Thanks for the response. The link you provided was quite helpful. The way they are setting up this iGEM contest really would make it easy for DIY people to get involved if they are allowed to participate. Even if their not they can still access the knowledge.

It looks like if you had one of those binders and put in a little work you really could do this in your garage. And like you said if you had access to a high school chemistry lab it would probably be fairly easy to replicate some of these experiments.

I googled a little and you can order E. coli off the internet. here Seems like we really close to being able to do these things in our garages.


Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:54 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
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Post Re: Projects? Labs? What are you working on??
sSpr0ck3t wrote:
It looks like if you had one of those binders and put in a little work you really could do this in your garage.

The DNA-blots in a binder concept was new to me too. It's one of those elegant solutions. The more I think about it the better it gets. For one thing it makes it possible to do biohacking today without the ever present topic of pathogens having to come up. This is a good thing. Maybe it also works as basis for a heath kit for biological engineering.

sSpr0ck3t wrote:
I googled a little and you can order E. coli off the internet. here

I've noticed that there are a number of strains of E Coli for sale, I'm not good at this but they seem to have different properties. I think BioBricks are tested for a few of them.

Welcome to the forum btw :D


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Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:20 am
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Post Re: Projects? Labs? What are you working on??
Splicer wrote:
Welcome to the forum btw :D


Thanks theres lots of really good stuff here I hope it grows.


Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:01 am
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Post The DNA blot binder
Someone made a comic book sheet on how a DIY:er could use the binder DNA:

Image

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Trying to put together a DIYbio demo in which people transform plasmid DNA to make cells that turn red, glow, or smell like banana's without lab equipment (protocol still uses lab reagents and consumables right now).

It looks like a work in progress but it gives an idea of how it can be done.

Link is here.

- Splicer

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Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:04 pm
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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:02 am
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Post Re: Projects? Labs? What are you working on??
That is really helpful. An off-the shelf book containing informations like that in such format with basic molecular biology biology primer might as well be what the field needs right now for synthetic biology to gain momentum in public sector.


Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:47 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
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Post Re: Projects? Labs? What are you working on??
There is a very good publication called "Primer for synthetic Biology" on OpenWetWare.

As primes go, I really like it.

- Splicer

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Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:25 am
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Post Re: Projects? Labs? What are you working on??
Yes. That pdf file is pretty much ubiquitous when it comes to looking for a synthetic biology primer on th web, since it is about the only one available. While the author does a good job at introducing certain academic outlines pertaining to the ethos of synthetic biology, I would be surprised if any true beginner to the field can do lab works based on that primer.

A full synthetic biology primer would have to dip its toes in many waters, like elementary bioinformatics/BLAST, list of basic DNA characteristics going upto utilization of BioBricks, basic wet lab protocols, and guideline on obtaining the materials needed for the labwork. Basically, it should allow the beginning layman/woman to do synthetic biology equivalent of the Hello World program.


Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:32 am
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Post Re: Projects? Labs? What are you working on??
bookhling wrote:
Yes. That pdf file is pretty much ubiquitous when it comes to looking for a synthetic biology primer on th web, since it is about the only one available. While the author does a good job at introducing certain academic outlines pertaining to the ethos of synthetic biology, I would be surprised if any true beginner to the field can do lab works based on that primer.

A full synthetic biology primer would have to dip its toes in many waters, like elementary bioinformatics/BLAST, list of basic DNA characteristics going upto utilization of BioBricks, basic wet lab protocols, and guideline on obtaining the materials needed for the labwork. Basically, it should allow the beginning layman/woman to do synthetic biology equivalent of the Hello World program.


Yes. You are right.

- Splicer

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Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:49 am
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