DIYBio…..Do It Yourself Biology?


There has recently been a surge of DIY everything. This is also true in the technology and health arenas. To accommodate their growing numbers, there are an increasing number of DIY creative spaces popping up everywhere. These creatives do everything from growing food, making clothes, reverse engineering technology, biohacking their own health, to DIY Biology experiments. Some have suggested that this is the new industrial revolution that will dominate our lives in a way similar to the adoption of computer technology.

The DIYselfers have organized into a network of enthusiasts across the country who perform research in biotechnology and synthetic biology.  There is a growing number of spaces dedicated to everything from robotics to biology to 3D printing, In 2010, Genspace, “New York City’s Community Biolab”, opened in Brooklyn to provide space and training for the lay person to explore science.  Many more across the country, in fact the world, have since followed.


DIYBio space


Biocurious community, started in September 2011 in Sunnyvale, California, have meetup groups for members to come together…and explore topics like bioprinting and bioluminescence. Thourgh not printing live organs as yet they do experiment with printing live cells. Noisebridge can be found in the mission district in San Francisco.

iGEM , International Genetically Engineered Machine, is a nonprofit foundation that began in 2003 whose mission is to advance synthetic biology and encourage the development of open community and collaboration and has become recognized for its’ student synthetic biology competition. Similarly, BIOMOD is a student competition convening once a year at Harvard University where students present their bio-molecular designs including biomolecular robotics, biomolecular computing, and structural bionanotechnology.

A shift in consciousness is occurring with more people opening their minds to the idea that  individuals possess the power and the responsibility to Shepard their own health and well being. The DIY revolution is allowing the convergence and collaboration of multiple disciplines such as biological sciences, behavioral science, engineering, and the arts in the pursuit of optimal health.

The DIYBio enthusiast see themselves as a doorway to the future of medicine and biology. They believe that nudging human development by pushing boundaries to overcome health obstacles along with the use of open source information and technology will inevitably lead to quicker advancement of these disciplines.

They reverse engineer basic lab equipment to conduct their experiments to sequence DNA both in themselves and the environment.

Biohacking: The Future is Under Our Skin | WUPR Mon, 11 Nov 2013 22:58:31 GMT

As biotechnologies become cheaper and more accessible, “do it yourself (DIY) biologists” and “biohackers” across the world have begun to explore the world of biology from the comforts of their homes. As their name indicates 

To the outside world, these hackers seem like fanatics who implant anything they can find into their skin…But biohackers, especially grinders, see themselves as a stepping stone to the future.

Read more …

So far there has been no government oversight with regulation of the DIY practice. Though this lack of regulation may be due to limited motivation or just the reality that regulation of individual home basement hackers has some obvious obstacles in application.

Not everyone is encouraging these renegades to continue their work. In his new book, “Life at the Speed of Light”, Craig Venter sends out a warning that unintended consequences may result from inappropriate disposal of the chemicals used in home style research and the possible escape of genetically modified organisms into the environment. Though Ventor is an advocate of more built-in safegaurds, he is also concerned with stfiling innovation with overregulation as is currentlly the case with the biotech industry.

Maybe it is time to let the glacially slow advancement of  the risk adverse biotech and medicine industry benefit from the DIYBio, biohacker, quantified self, grinders, transhumanist, open source, maker movements instead of wallowing in fear of what might be discovered.

Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life

Check out customer reviews Author:J. Craig VenterFormat:Kindle eBookBinding:Kindle EditionManufacturer:Viking Adult

The renowned scientist and author of A Life Decoded examines the creation of life in the new field of synthetic genomics In 2010, scientists led by J. Craig Venter became the first to successfully create “synthetic life”—putting humankind at the thr …

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