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
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???
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!
Following Matt Cutts’s tweet I am now writing my blog post using the CrossOver Chromium browser which is a Mac and Linux port of the open source Chromium web browser. Google Chrome (Windows-only so far) is built with open source code from Chromium that means I have now a functional Google Chrome clone under Leopard on… Continue reading The Google Chrome Experience on Mac OS X with CrossOver Chromium!
BioBarCamp is due in circa 3 weeks and we have now 45 BioBarCampers signed up on the list of attendees and our host the Institute For The Future has the capacity for around 55 more campers, roughly for 100 people in general. We already have a very valuable mix: researchers, biologists (grad, postdoc, PI), coders-engineers-bioinformaticians,… Continue reading BioBarCamp: we have room for 55 plus Campers!
Desktop background images are important parts of people’s everyday lives in terms of unintended staring time. Usually they are picked up for the eyes (sg spectacular & cool and/or sexy) and hearts (family members), but why not use them for information uptake and learning? So I’d like to ask: What’s your current science related desktop… Continue reading What’s your current science related desktop image?
In part 1 we had Skull from the game zone. Now comes the loser geek archetype George McFly – played by Crispin Glover – from Back to the Future or at least his laugh. The relation between Skull & George is more than obvious: chocolate milk. (Yes, it’s weekend.) From the script: Marty: George, buddy.… Continue reading Top geek movie figures, part 2: George McFly
The O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures Startup Camp is a nice option for the emerging personalized genomics companies or any web-related biotech startups to communicate and cooperate with alpha geeks and early technology adopters. Tim O’Reilly writes: The Thursday and Friday (July 10-11) before this year’s Foo Camp in Sebastopol July 11-13, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures will be… Continue reading O’Reilly Startup Camp for geeky biotech startups too!
Meet 2K, the 2,000 Year Old Programmer from the Bronx and Auto-ID in The MarkMagic Chronicles. “That’s the problem these days,” 2K says. “Nobody wants to do work hard. Everybody wants easy. In my days, we knew what heavy lifting was. I had to carry rocks to my cave in the office. We carried rocks… Continue reading 2K, the 2,000 Year Old Programmer & a bit of RFID
Chowder: “Skull is in the game zone, right now. And you don’t want to mess with him when he is in the game zone. He once played for 4 days straight on 1 quarter, a gallon of chocolate milk and an adult diaper.”
There is a pattern of successful technological innovations I can summarize the following way: there is a nerd engineer who actually invents something and builds the first functional prototype, and there is a geeky enough yo who recognizes the value of the prototype and makes the bigger money/fame/other beneficiaries out of it by turning it… Continue reading Ward Cunningham – What If Bacteria Designed Computers?
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!
I’ve always loved the following scene from LOTR, but I’ve always imagined that they are the words of a man who is in a healthy physiological condition due to a robust life extension technology and not due to a mystical ring: Bilbo: “Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday!” Hobbits: “Happy birthday!” Bilbo: “Alas,… Continue reading Larry Page is 35 years old today: long live to live long enough!
I found this picture of Aubrey de Grey with his book Ending Aging on his head at the BIL conference in Quinn Norton‘s Flickr Stream. Quinn Norton is a bodyhacker technophiliac journalist photographer. Robust, healthy lifespan extension can easily be interpreted as an extreme body-, life- and biohack so no wonder that more and more… Continue reading Life extension people are happy: keep living, please!
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
The idea of doing biological experiments with current biotechnological methods and conducting research projects at home is quite new. There are already many names in use referring to the same concept: bioDIY, home biology, biotech DIY, garage biology. We have a detailed case example which can be considered as the first registered, high profile biotech… Continue reading The conditions of a mass biotech DIY movement
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.
Finally back from my Bay Area trip, the workshop I participated turned out to be very stimulating in terms of people and ideas. Also visiting The Blood Knot performance at the American Conservatory Theater and having a drink with Monya&Dan were absolutely delightful. I missed my flight on Saturday, so I slept in LA (and… Continue reading Bubble City’s South Park: geek tourism
I’ve just dug out this accidentally:
What’s the best thing to do if Google wants track you down and you are “a geek, the kind of person who searched Google every time a thought passed through his head”. Well, Aaron Swartz‘s nervous nerd novel, Bubble City (I summarize my thoughts on it in the next post) has a geeky algorithm to… Continue reading How to get rid of the Google Eye according to Bubble City: Scroogle and Tor
At least I know what I will read on the plane over at the Atlantic tomorrow back to old Europe: Bubble City by Aaron Swartz. What by who? Bubble city is a blog tech novel with chapters as posts. The story takes place in San Francisco and in Silicon Valley around a startup called Newsflip… Continue reading My transatlantic air reading: Bubble City, a blog novel by Aaron Swartz
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
Our new Boo XO laptop is not just smart, but has nothing to be shamed about when compared to, say Apple laptops in design. It is an excellent source of funny pictures too. Picture composition: Anna.
In November we participated in the “Give One Get One” program in which people can donate an XO laptop to a child in the developing world and receive one. Yesterday we got ours, named Boo and Anna recorded the first moments of Boo at our home and published it on her blog Videovoo with detailed… Continue reading Boo, our XO laptop shipped to our home and its twin to a child somewhere
Wired’s Geekipedia is marketed as “People, places, ideas and trends you need to know now“. As such you can find biology and biotech related terms in it (part of the current hip and tech-savvy culture) like ‘stem cells‘, ‘RNAi‘ or ‘brain implants‘, explained. But you won’t find the terms ‘Natureplex’, ‘executable cell biology’, ‘Open Notebook… Continue reading Biogeekipedia: collecting raw materials
Components from top to bottom: Insulated Test/Jumper Leads wig blue ethernet cable original Google T-shirt (I got mine at the Euro Maker Faire) badge (actually I used my SciFoo badge just inside out, there was a modified Google Search Box on the other side with an “I am feeling Evil” button) components desperately needed, but… Continue reading Last minute, low budget Halloween costume: Mr. Evil Google
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
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
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
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
Similarly to the Edmonton Aging Symposium which reportedly “was a WORLD FIRST! in being streamed live onto the internet” (Kevin Perrott) amongst conferences, a selection of the presentations of the SENS3 conference are now available at the personal website of Richard Schueler. Richard is a big mouthed, cowboy hat geek with a serious life extension… Continue reading SENS3 conference videos online on a personal website
SciFoo is over, and I’ve just arrived back to New Orleans from SF. First of all: a big thanks for the organizers (Chris DiBona, Timo Hannay, Tim O’Reilly, Google, Nature, O’Reilly) and campers, it was really the highest end. Here is a quick SciFoo key terms summary (photos, detailed accounts later): “scientific data” One of… Continue reading SciFoo Camp, 2007: data (Google) publishing (Nature) geeks (O’Reilly)
This slide comes from the presentation of Google Fellow Jeff Dean on Seattle Conference on Scalability, entitled Abstractions for Handling Large Datasets. (The title Google Fellow seems to me as something similar in rank to a full professorship at Stanford.) Here is the presentation itself embedded:
I like Google and Apple products, but my expectations are focusing on how these products can help and facilitate me as a scientist, especially as a biomedical research scientist. With the Science on the iPhone test series I’d like to examine in details how proper and user friendly is the iPhone as an ultimate portable,… Continue reading Science on the iPhone, is it a good SciPhone? Aspects for a test series
On Friday we went to a Harry Potter Midnight Magic party at the Uptown Tulane Campus. There I met Noah from Michigan, who was videoskyping on his MacBook Pro with his brother in Los Angeles. Our 3 minutes talk was an excellent exemplar of what I call “fast networking”: Facebook confirmation, iPhone presentation, blog introduction,… Continue reading Fast networking with Apple gadgets at a Harry Potter party
The 2 main drawbacks to reading PDFs on the iPhone are the must-send-it in email in order to store and open “solution” and the user-unfriendly, landscapeless left-right scrolling reading mode. Not anymore. Both problems can easily be overcome with the help of a Safari browser hack using the almost forgotten data: URI schemes. From now… Continue reading How to read PDF files on iPhone via Safari instead of lame email attachments
As in the case of my old iPod, I’d like to use myPhone to access the scientific world and web from everywhere, not just as a tool of coolness. (Warning: Macbook shots, bad quality pictures on a good quality experience).
The Natureplex (Nature Web Publishing Department on the second floor of a renovated warehouse with around 25 people near at King’s Cross, London) nerds are still busy: Scintilla, a science recommendation engine was launched based on aggregating science content from RSS/Atom feeds of various websites. How could Scintilla (check what the term scintillation refers to,… Continue reading Scintilla, a science aggregator and recommendation engine freshly from the Natureplex
In my opinion the Google of science publishing is the umbrella brand Nature Publishing Group. The best indicator of it is the growing number of freshly released beta products making NPG web initiatives a heaven for scientific early adopters. As Timo Hannay, web editor of Nature said in an interview in Spiegel: The core business… Continue reading Biotech Geek Blogger goes Nature Stem Cell Blogger at the Niche