As is often the case when I fail to post for months, I’ve been busy. In addition to my own work in the lab, which currently entails bypassing and leapfrogging existing affinity chromatography standards while making DIY protein purification trivial (!), I’ve been roped into organising an ambitious Synthetic Biology business accelerator programme in my home city, Cork, and I’m officially a co-curator for the upcoming Synthetic Biology exhibition in Science Gallery, “Grow Your Own”.
Here’s a belated notice for those able to make last-minute flightplans. This weekend, the Manchester Madlab are hosting a DIYbio Summit, and the lineup looks great. You can book places for the DIYbio Summit on Eventbrite; please come if you’re able, there’s already a great crowd due to attend. As for Indie Biotech, yours truly will be giving a 30 minute keynote on the first day. I’ll also be helping to facilitate several workshops over the weekend, with plans ranging from in-silico gene design (or, “How do I go from Concept to Ordered DNA?”), a rundown on Irish GMO Licensing Law (which is rather similar to the UK system), and assisting Brian Degger of Transitlab.org in giving a Webcam-Microscope hacking workshop.
Dear all, This Wednesday, Nexus Cork (Cork’s quite awesome local Makerspace) will be hosting a film screening in the Camden Palace Hotel on Camden Quay. Entry is free, and you can avail of a copy of the film if you bring a USB-capable Android or Laptop. A lower resolution form of the film is also loaded on the Dead Drop just inside the door to the building. “Happy World: Burma, the Dictatorship of the Absurd” is a highly acclaimed and engaging documentary of the state of Burma, known to some as Myanmar.
It’s not too late for you to take part in the biohacking workshops that I’ve been facilitating in the Science Gallery this past week. It’s true, the wet-work is officially out of the way, and tomorrow’s session assumes some grounding that has been provided in prior days. However, the last day will focus not on the methods, nor even the knowledge of biotech. Instead, we’ll focus on the role of biohacking in society, with a particular focus on the transformative power of DIY biotech, the social responsibility and ethics that this calls for, and the particulars of Irish law regarding biohacking.
It’s terribly late of me to share this on my own website, but here it is: This Tuesday next, 14th June, I’ll be commencing a five-day workshop in DIYbio and biohacking. The course is €150 and runs from 10am-3pm weekdays and 1-4pm on Saturday. Bookings through the Science Gallery please. Rough content breakdown by day: Introduction to Microbiology, Evolution, Genetics, Bacterial physiology, Synthetic Biology. Practical skills: Sterilising, maintaining sterility, basics of microbiology.
As mentioned previously, I’ll be offering a repeat of the Cork workshop at Mindfield this Friday. You can register here if you think you’d like to come along; it’s free! The workshop is tailored toward absolute beginners, and starts with an introduction to Biology, Microbiology and Biotechnology, followed by a discussion on DIYbio and Amateur or “Indie” Biotech, an introduction to a specific bacteria I particularly like, and a chance for participants to actually start growing the bacterium then and there.
Dear all, there will be a DIYbio meetup in the cafe of the Science Gallery (Pearce Street, Dublin) tomorrow at 2pm. The event is better documented here, with a list of currently registered attendees: [http://diybiodublin.eventbrite.com] It’s free and informal. If you like DIYbio to some extent and you’re free, please come along! The point? To meet, greet, and perhaps discuss not-so-weighty matters like forming a regional identity for Irish DIYbio. I’ve been informed by the great people at the Science Gallery that they’ll be closing early to prepare for their next exhibition, so the event is set to begin at 2 and end at 4.
Maker Faire UK 2011 begins tomorrow, and today exhibitors are being given a chance to set things up and prepare. As we’re offering a DIY microbiology event, we’ll need happy plates of microbes to work with, so our incubator is getting set up and our HEPA will be running on low speed to prepare for the day to come. By way of update, we actually have only 50 plates to give out due to damaged dishes in the package I received.
Maker Faire is creeping up on me, and I have limited time to prepare as I’m leaving for Scotland/NW England early for a bit of a holiday. So, my last few days have been spent in hectic preparation for the event. Myself and Brian Degger will be hosting a table on DIYbio and Indie Biotech, as we did last year, but we are making a strong effort this time around to include more interactive exhibits.
In case it’s up your alley, I’ll be giving a talk on Garage Biotech and DIYbio at Barcamp Cork on the 20th. It’s a free conference, it’s held in the webworks in Cork City Center, and there’ll be a ton of other interesting talks. My own talk will be a 35 minute affair, and I’ll be covering the “why” of Synthetic Biology, some crucial elements of Bacterial Physiology (specifically B.subtilis) you’ll need to know to get started, and some information on how _you_ can set up and get started performing synthetic biology experiments at home or with friends.
Introductory Note Perhaps a quick word of introduction. If you don’t know me yet, welcome to Indiebiotech.com, my name is Cathal Garvey, and I live in Cork City in Ireland. I’m an avid DIYbio enthusiast, a trained and fairly experienced molecular biologist (specifically, a Geneticist). I believe that everyone with an interest in DIYbio and Synthetic biology should be able to learn and access easily what they need to start experimenting, because I know that until that happens nobody will trust this amazing, transformative technology, even as it grows and develops without them.