Tag Archives: Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology and biohacking – unlikely bedfellows or pioneering matchmaking?

What does frontline university research with several million kroner budgets have to do with a group of Do-It-Yourself science aficionados building labs in garages and basements on shoestring budgets? Find some answers at the “Doing and Debating Synthetic Biology” symposium on March 21st at Medical Museion in Copenhagen.

Synthetic biology is a burgeoning research field which promises a completely new approach to biology: seeing cells and their components as reprogrammable and potential building blocks that can be used to construct cellular factories for producing medicinal drugs, ingredients and chemicals currently produced from oil. Biohackers try to democratize science, and many regard the synthetic biology approach as something that will spur an industry revolution, similar to the one started by computer hackers democratizing IT in the 1970s. Come to the symposium and hear from biohackers, synthetic biologists, sociologists, and ethicists, and join in the discussion about the future of bio-based technologies.

The panel consists of:
Sarah R. Davies, postdoc, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), http://medm.us/13XyJ5h
Birger Lindberg Møller, Professor, Director of Center for Synthetic Biology, UCPH, synbio.ku.dk/blm, http://medm.us/Z577WN
Rüdiger Trojok, biohacker, OpenBioProjects.net
Sune H. Holm, Ass. Professor of bioethics, UCPH, http://medm.us/ZK4uZC

Additional speakers include Martin Malthe Borch, biotech engineer, interaction designer, and co-founder of Scandinavia’s first DIYbio space, BiologiGaragen.org, and Karin Tybjerg and Louise Whiteley, directors of Medical Museion’s biohacking project.

The symposium will run from 7.30-10.00 pm, and the lab installation will be open from 6.30 pm. Refreshments will be provided, and tickets can be purchased from Billetto.dk: http://medm.us/Z56Cfe, or purchased on the door.

The event accompanies a lab installation, made in collaboration between the EU FP7 Studiolab Project, Medical Museion, the Center for Synthetic Biology at the University of Copenhagen, and Copenhagen hackerspaces Labitat and BiologiGaragen.

DIY-Bio at the iGEM conference.

Interesting DIY-bio approaches to synthetic biology presented at this years iGEM conference. (International Genetically Engineered Machine competition 2010 ).

Simple DIY lab equipment was presented by ArtScienceBangalore an Indian art school presented how to construct a simple fume hood and incubator.
A simple measurement technique where the Petri dish is incubated on an automated scanner, made by Duke University won the best experimental measurement price.

Baltimore suggested transforming e-coli with the taq-polymerase genes, and use the lysate for PCR reactions, a brilliant idea for cheap PCR.
Slovenia won the grand price by construction of a DNA assembly line by creating an assembly line with catalytic enzymes linked to the DNA.

Denmark was represented by two teams both winning a gold medal, the DTU and SDU team. SDU further shared the special price for Safety Commendation with VT-ENSIMAG Biosecurity.
The conference took place 6-8th Nov. at MIT Cambridge, Mass, USA.