We are the biohacking or DIY biology (Official FAQ about DIY-Biology) group at the London Hackspace, a mix of amateur and professional biologists, attracted by the potential of molecular and synthetic biology. Anyone is welcome, so get involved! It's fascinating, the field and community is growing all the time, together with the ability of amateurs to do cool stuff. Over the past year we've been developing our equipment, optimising techniques and running some research projects. Here's quite a good short local news video showing our lab and some of what we do in it.
We also maintain an outward facing website at BioHackspace.org
How to find us
- Come to the Hackspace Open Evening - every tuesday from 7:30pm. There should be a few of us around to show you the lab and give you an idea of what we do. If you want to make sure we find each other you can email us to let us know you're coming.
- Email us here. You can also sign up to our mailing list where we do most of our communication here (if you see a warning ignore it) (Your posts will be moderated unless you're signed up to the list. If you want to be signed up to the list but not receive messages you can change this in the options). You can view the mailing list archives through the previous link or through the google groups interface.
We're a subgroup of the London Hackspace, and our rent and utility bills are paid as part of the larger space. Most of us are paying members of the hackspace, you can find out how to become a hackspace member here. However it's not essential to become a member just to come along initially and find out what we do.
We also have a special membership for biohacking. Biohacking is more expensive than the typical hackspace activity, and with your membership we can pay for reagents, lab consumables and any equipment we may need for our experiments. The suggested minimum donation is £2 a week, but again, you can come along without joining. If you start to come regularly and use consumables then we'd like you to pay. To find out how to join up, and how to make a standing order for biohacking membership, contact us
We're currently working on getting competent in various techniques of synthetic biology: DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, ligation and transformation. Once we can do this, and have been certified as a class 1 lab, we plan to start synbio experiments.
- Growing V. fischeri
- Project:Sex typing with amelogenin
- Project:Public Biobrick (in collaboration with the UCL igem team)
- Blood typing
- Project:Plant species testing
- Project:Gel electrophoresis box
- Project:Algal biodiesel
- Project:Making our own reagents
- Project:Alcohol Flush Genotyping
- Project:Biohackers microscope
Our lab is small in size but we have tried to make good use of the tight space to incorporate all the equipment we need to carry out interesting projects. You can see a floor plan of the lab here.
We are currently working towards being certified as a Containment Level 1 Lab (more details on biosafety classifications).
The Lab is the registered office of our limited company, London Biological Laboratories, used to deal with suppliers.
How to use the Lab
Please do not touch things in the lab if you do not know what they are or how to use them. Many items may be hazards to your health if used incorrectly.
Our lab manual details our equipment, reagents, strains and our established protocols.
Equipment we made
Our hope is to be able to use self-developed or open source hardware equipment where possible in order to carry out our projects. Here is what we have done so far:
A list of biohacking hardware projects is here Project:Biohardware
- Pledge: Flow Hood
- Pledge:Lab Microscope
- Pledge:vacum forming machine
- Nature.com comic about Synthetic Biology - Nice introduction to playing with genetic engineering/cloning, though aimed at kids
- Bugs' Crash Course in Molecular Biology - Recorded at the hackspace. Slides
- Sara's Introduction the the Biohacking Community - Recorded at the hackspace
- Good introduction to gel electrophoresis - Explaining one of the core techniques for working with DNA
- Good introduction to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) - Explaining one of the core techniques for working with DNA
- Nature.com article on Biohacking - Free access. Nice explanation of what's needed in a lab and how different groups are managing it.
- Bioinformatics Resources
- Slides from Bioinformatics workshop August 2012
- Cathal Garvey's beginner's guide to biotech
- Flowchart diagram of DNA extraction protocol
- Interesting DIYBio community blog - Interesting blog taking articles from a few different groups
- Bio Curious - A well-established bihacking group in California
- Brain-Computer interface at Paris hackspace
- Nature.com article about biohacking community - Not the same one as above. Interesting, but behind a paywall :(.
- you can access it here: http://www.synbioproject.org/process/assets/files/6452/_draft/nbt-2009-12d_-_biotech_nin_the_basement.pdf -- kanzure 184.108.40.206 19:40, 2 January 2011 (UTC)