LavaAmp: cheapest pocket PCR thermocycler dreamed for DIY biologists

The LavaAmp is a portable PCR thermocycler that has the potential to become the default garage biology (home biology, bioDIY, DIYbio) tool once it hits the market. Think of Apple II for personal computing or MakerBot for 3D printing. The 1st LavaAmp prototype was shipped this week from Biodesic to Gahaga Biosciences and the process… Continue reading LavaAmp: cheapest pocket PCR thermocycler dreamed for DIY biologists

Why the Dyna-Vision G1 Android Telemedicine App can only be used by licensed physicians???

Let us assume that you are a technological early adopter, a maker, a hacker, a geek. Your software/hardware skills and experiences are much better than the bulk of licensed physicians. You also have a G1. Now imagine a mobile application/gadget-in-a-belt-pouch that is the most advanced telemedicine solution in the market. With this application/gadget you were… Continue reading Why the Dyna-Vision G1 Android Telemedicine App can only be used by licensed physicians???

Practical DNA: Hugh Rienhoff’s got a story to tell

After the Nature cover article Hugh Rienhoff and the story of My Daughter’s DNA is now covered by Wired magazine. I wrote about Hugh (a fellow SciFoo Camper) as an example of any future bioDIY effort in The conditions of a mass biotech DIY movement and now the Wired piece gives us more context and details… Continue reading Practical DNA: Hugh Rienhoff’s got a story to tell

1st UK Maker Faire, Newcastle, March 2009, makers wanted!

The first Euro Maker Faire in Brussels was an evening event but now with the first UK Maker Faire makers have a chance to hang around for 2 days and develop or deepen their DIY skills similar to the original US events (we enjoyed Austin Maker Faire in 2007). Let me know if you’re interested.… Continue reading 1st UK Maker Faire, Newcastle, March 2009, makers wanted!

Low budget, high tech: Microfluidics device out of a $50 plotter!

Building and using low budget but high tech devices at home is a main motivation behind hacking. A Harvard Chemistry Research Group now created a microchannel producing device using a Hewlett Packard 7550A Graphics Plotter (see some eBay prices) to perform a diagnostic protein assay with it amongst others. /See my SciFoo microfluidics coverage./ According… Continue reading Low budget, high tech: Microfluidics device out of a $50 plotter!

Biotech DIY for aging/life extension research: the double future?

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – said Alan Kay, computer legend in 1971. Recently I had a comment dialogue with Chris on whether state-supported research or industrial business enterprises can (or should) lead to big progress in robust and healthy life extension technologies. Besides the government and corporation coin… Continue reading Biotech DIY for aging/life extension research: the double future?

First DIY RFID experience: Arduino controlled Parallax reader

In the last couple of weeks I became heavily interested in RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology probably because the dangerous idea of all pervasive computing and the opportunities to build sg from the bottom-up. So here is a how-to to my first installed low frequency, read-only RFID system hopefully followed by a more juicy stuff… Continue reading First DIY RFID experience: Arduino controlled Parallax reader

Biotechies at O’Reilly ETech, March 3 – 6, San Diego

The O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference (ETech) is on and this year they had a growing number of biotech related sessions. Fellow SciFoo Campers like Hugh Rienhoff and Timo Hannay, Makers like Phil Torrone and Limor Fried, Brain Hackers like Ed Boyden are visiting and many more.

science.TV joins the club but exactly which?

science.TV is one amongst the newest actors of the online video sharing marketplace, based in Bristol, UK. As Matt Thurling, founder says: “My vision for science.tv is simply to provide the best possible set of tools to enable interaction via video between the science community. My definition of the science community is probably broader than… Continue reading science.TV joins the club but exactly which?

Everything you want to know about Make:TV on Videovoo

I am not watching to many videocasts, but the last 5 epizodes of the Make Weekend Projects with Bre Pettis are always on my iPhone and viewed every time. Now Anna over at Videovoo reports on the coming Make:TV featuring half-hour episodes that will be presented in High-Def TV and streamed on the web in… Continue reading Everything you want to know about Make:TV on Videovoo

Tit in the webcam and lifecasting for animals

A lifecasting and human free video streaming channel for animals could easily be a lot more interesting than Justin.tv. An early video tracking system based on miniaturized, animal-borne video cameras was developed for studying the undisturbed behavior (capturing lizards, using tools, flying) of new Caledonian crows and published in Science. Of course the online supporting… Continue reading Tit in the webcam and lifecasting for animals

My Arduino and home electronics starter kit

After a hard experimental week (I have now around 55 T-75 or T-175 flasks with 6 different growing cell lines in the incubator) finally I have been able to turn a little weekend attention to move a step further with my home electronics “maker” plan. Instead of buying a complete Arduino starter pack ($65) I’ve… Continue reading My Arduino and home electronics starter kit

Thoughts on Open Source Hardware at the Austin Maker Faire

For open source hardware you need open source software and a modular hardware design that makes building customized hardware just as easy as writing software or web apps. In order to make the idea mainstream you need to commercialize it and that’s what exactly Bug Labs is planning to do. (Again, my bioDIY brain says,… Continue reading Thoughts on Open Source Hardware at the Austin Maker Faire

Arduino Diecimila: my first microcontroller ever

The biggest impact of the Austin Maker Faire on me was that yesterday I bought an open source, CC licensed Arduino microcontroller and a breadboard for building prototype electronic circuits. I am a total rookie in home electronics but I thought it’s never too late to learn completely new things with the help of our… Continue reading Arduino Diecimila: my first microcontroller ever

Going to the Austin Maker Faire, October 20-21

At last a real family event for Anna and me: we are heading to Travis County Fairgrounds, Austin, Texas on October 19th to visit the MakerFaire. This will be the 3rd American MakerFaire, and the first outside the Bay Area. I am prepared to meet enthusiastic makers and mind-blowing DIY projects there, as well as… Continue reading Going to the Austin Maker Faire, October 20-21

Wired on the emerging science video websites: see one, do one, teach one

Wired has a nice piece on Video Sites Help Scientists Show Instead of Tell by Alexis Madrigal focusing on the high-end, non-youtubish, let’s-build-the-pro-network-of-video-geeks-in-the-labs-out-there approach of JoVE. Video players mentioned on the pop side: LabAction and PloS backed SciVee. The real question of this niche market is: In order to penetrate the mainstream science audience what… Continue reading Wired on the emerging science video websites: see one, do one, teach one

Second Annual Maker Faire this weekend and expecting the First BioMaker Faire…

Builders, Hackers, Do-It-Yourselfers are gathering around this weekend at the most visible embodiment of the Maker spirit, the Maker Faire 2007 at San Mateo Fairgrounds, California. I remember the inquisitive and incredulous eyes of the traditional tech makers, coders, engineers while presenting my placental stem cell project at Euro Maker Faire last year. Now imagine… Continue reading Second Annual Maker Faire this weekend and expecting the First BioMaker Faire…

Life extension: body hack and/or life hack?

In recent culture, technological life extension is considered to be a form of hacking, as 2Dolphins says a “hacker is someone who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations — someone who makes things work beyond perceived limits through unconventional means or skills.” In hacking there is also a DIY element too.… Continue reading Life extension: body hack and/or life hack?

Smart comments on the home placenta stem cell project

I collected some critical comments worth considering on the home placenta stem cell project from Make readers. Thanks for all. “Um hello..how many people have a whole lab set up in their home?”20+ years ago — that sentiment would be — “How many people can afford a whole computing set up in their home? (and… Continue reading Smart comments on the home placenta stem cell project

What is bioDIY?

I republish here my “manifesto” like article on biotech DIY, which I wrote in April, 2006 on Newsvine in order to see the thoughts behind the placenta stem cell project. Would you like to sequence your genome in your garage? To grow your stem cells in the kitchen-lab? To hunt for point mutations just for… Continue reading What is bioDIY?

How to isolate amniotic stem cells from the placenta, at home!

/Thanks for spreading the idea of biotech diy: Make, Pharyngula, kottke.org, Scientific American Blog, BoingBoing, Digital Bio, Clock among others…/ The placenta is a very valuable and scarce human tissue, although the proper recycling of it is not placentophagy, but the isolation of stem cells from its amnion layer, and storing them for later regenerative… Continue reading How to isolate amniotic stem cells from the placenta, at home!

Life Scientists: let us make video-articles for JoVE!

Journal of Visualized Experiments, or JoVE, the video focused science online journal was one of the most advanced and forward thinking newly launched website in 2006 in the field of life sciences. I am personally engaged in the topic of open source online protocol videos and JoVE is Pimm’s recurring theme. After the pioneer first… Continue reading Life Scientists: let us make video-articles for JoVE!

The image of science: Google-like Biomedical Image Search Engine for pros

Check out the brand new BioMed Search, it is fantastic, currently over 1 million images have been indexed from peer-review journals in biomedical fields and more is on its way. BioMed Search has been created by Alex Ksikes, currently a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science with focus in Computational Learning Theory at the University of… Continue reading The image of science: Google-like Biomedical Image Search Engine for pros

The Scientist on JoVE: Video makes the new science stars?

Thoughtful short piece on the new science video experiment site JoVE in The Scientist blog by Brendan Maher: “Videos like this could cut down troubleshooting time considerably. Moreover, there’s a great opportunity to create some new science stars. Who, after all, doesn’t have a running commentary going through their head as they run through the… Continue reading The Scientist on JoVE: Video makes the new science stars?

JoVE stats: blogosphere and Nature News traffic before official launch

The first official issue of the new biological video protocol site JoVE or Journal of Visualized Experiments will be available today 11 pm EST, November 30, 2006. The graph shows November traffic in term of unique visitors, first 2.5 weeks mainly uploaders, authors, editors and editors’ friends used the page, from 17th there was a… Continue reading JoVE stats: blogosphere and Nature News traffic before official launch

Nature News on JoVE: is JoVE really the YouTube for life scientists?

Nature News has an article of the new Journal of Visual Experiments website, whereof Pimm had a story one week ago with the help of Moshe Pritsker, founder of the site. The title of the Nature News post: YouTube for test tubes, which sounds good really, but is problematic a little bit. In a way… Continue reading Nature News on JoVE: is JoVE really the YouTube for life scientists?

Biological Video Protocols on JoVE: Online Journal of Visualized Experiments

At last there is an almost perfect solution for life scientists to share video protocols and insider tricks to learn techniques and repeat experiments properly. Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) is a newly founded and FREE online research journal that publishes video-articles on biological experiments (video-protocols). It is an independent project by 2 people, Moshe… Continue reading Biological Video Protocols on JoVE: Online Journal of Visualized Experiments

John Cumbers’ DIY approach to life extension: personal genomics and synthetic biology

John Cumbers made the Drosophila CHiP protocol video. He is a graduate student at the Tatar lab in Brown University, USA. Below are his answers to the blogterview questions and through answer 5 you can take a fresh look at the bottom-up approach of synthetic biology.

Early science protocol video: OpenWetWare Drosophila CHiP

One previous post of Pimm was about the advantages of online, open source-like science protocol videos. So thanks to Sri Kosuri, here is an early sample protocol movie (3 parts) made by John Cumbers on the preparation of fixed chromatin from Drosophila embryos to use the DNA in a genomic array technology, developed in Rob… Continue reading Early science protocol video: OpenWetWare Drosophila CHiP

Science: video protocols can help to share the tacit dimension

Matias Pasquali has a short piece in recent Nature Magazine on the upcoming role of DIY videos in protocol sharing between scientists: “Probably the most feasible approach is to publish movies describing the methods, a service already offered by some publications and protocol websites, but which could become routine. Much more information on the essential… Continue reading Science: video protocols can help to share the tacit dimension

bioDIY on Euro Maker Faire: stem cells from the placenta

I am a big fan of bioDIY or home/garage biotech, the idea that tinkering could be extended to biological entities to. Just take a look at MAKE magazine current Backyard Biology Issue. I’ll be in Brussels at Wednesday at Maker Faire (list of Makers here) with the project: how to isolate stem cells from your… Continue reading bioDIY on Euro Maker Faire: stem cells from the placenta