Work is progressing very well on the first Indie Biotech wetware product, a plasmid vector for DIYbio. To my knowledge, nobody has yet attempted to produce a novel cloning vector by total synthesis before, certainly not for Bacillus subtilis. I'm attempting something largely unprecedented, which ought to be worrying but instead feels exciting. I don't want to share too much at this stage (familiarity breeds contempt, after all), but I will say that I'm attempting to hit as many birds with one stone as possible. This vector is intended to make Synthetic Biology not only attainable for amateurs, but easier and a lot cheaper.
I'll be sharing some of my thoughts on Synthetic Biology as a DIYbio frontier at Ignite Dublin #6, which is going to be held on Thursday 10th February in the Science Gallery. Tickets are on sale now, and I'd highly recommend the event! Not only for me, but because of the really excellent lineup the organisers have managed to pull together. I'm not even the only Geneticist talking this time! Personally I can't wait to see what's going to be presented.
As a reminder, I'll also be co-hosting a table at the upcoming Newcastle Maker Faire, which is being held at the Center for Life in Newcastle on the 12th and 13th March. My co-host, Brian Degger (of Transitlab.org) was recently in the Science Gallery for the Visceral exhibition, and I met him there to discuss what we'll be offering.
Maker Faire's gonna be exciting this year, we are hoping to give practical microbiology mini-workshops to interested comers to our table, provided we can establish a zone of sterility with a good HEPA air-purifier on site. More on this in due time.