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

Even ugly handwriting can fit the informal nature of SciFoo

I had problems with my handwriting since elementary schools, or at least my teachers had continuous problems with it. Even during my university years I was asked sometimes to read out loud my essays, papers to them otherwise risking bad grades. Maybe it’s because I am a hidden right-handed using my left hand for writing… Continue reading Even ugly handwriting can fit the informal nature of SciFoo

Sci Foo Camp 2008: words and recommendations

SciFoo Camp is over for about 2 weeks now and I hope I’ll have time to write about it later. Here is what happened to me during the check-in process. 5 words or phrases that describe your interests and expertise: robust life extension, bioDIY, mitochondria, stem cells, Coen Brothers 3 people we should invite to… Continue reading Sci Foo Camp 2008: words and recommendations

Life extension people & session at SciFoo 2008, Googleplex!

Last year I was probably the only SciFoo Camper with an explicit life extension commitment. I suggested & held a session which was related a bit to partial immortalization but was rather about the systems biology perspective in general, illustrated with some examples. So throughout the terrific SciFoo Camp 2007 life extension as a conversation… Continue reading Life extension people & session at SciFoo 2008, Googleplex!

BioBarCamp: August 6-7, The Institute for the Future, Palo Alto

When I wrote about BioBarCamp for the first time, it was just an idea to organize an unconference for biogeeks, people interested in life scientists around SciFoo Camp time. Now thanks to Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Science X2 project leader, we have a date and a venue: August 6-7, The Institute for the Future, 124 University… Continue reading BioBarCamp: August 6-7, The Institute for the Future, Palo Alto

BioBarCamp in the Valley before the SciFoo Camp!

It seems that my favorite ever unconference, the SciFoo Camp will be aroundunconferenced by a BioBarCamp this year. The whole idea of the BioBarCamp is based upon the SciFoo Camp, so it is by no means a competitive but a complimentary event. From the BarCamp wiki: “The BioBarCamp is an idea (fed by the tweets… Continue reading BioBarCamp in the Valley before the SciFoo Camp!

Blow your Brain Explorer out with the Human Allen Brain Atlas!

At the SciFoo Camp last year at the Googleplex I suggested a little unconference session (ok, there were some slides ready on my MacBook) and one participant was Chinh Dang (another was this inventor) Technology Director of the Allen Institute for Brain Science who made a little intro to the work of the Institute to… Continue reading Blow your Brain Explorer out with the Human Allen Brain Atlas!

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.

My transatlantic air reading: Bubble City, a blog novel by Aaron Swartz

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

“Give One Get One” starts today at the One Laptop per Child project!

I’ve just ordered 2 more laptops, although we already have 3, why? Because starting today you (in the U.S. or Canada) can donate an XO laptop to a child in the developing world and receive one for $399+24.95 for shipping. And Anna, the better half of my family in New Orleans, alarmed and convinced me… Continue reading “Give One Get One” starts today at the One Laptop per Child project!

Tim O’ Reilly at Nature: science meets bored tech-savvyness to find new things

As a biotech geek blogger and occasionally Make contributor, who stands at the intersection of science and technology with a (life) science bias, it is more and more exciting to see how the attractive brands of the 2 sides are building the bridge and creating a shared channel. So far, the biggest manifestation of this… Continue reading Tim O’ Reilly at Nature: science meets bored tech-savvyness to find new things

Google’s Palimpsest project: promiscuous distribution of all science data sets

Google’s Palimpsest project, once realized (in the near future) has the potential to change the way science is done by accepting gigantic (raw?) data sets from all disciplines and making them open and free (including dark data?). Jon Trowbridge from Google Inc. had a presentation on SciFoo, 2007 at the Googleplex not documented well, but… Continue reading Google’s Palimpsest project: promiscuous distribution of all science data sets

Going to another unconventional science meeting: SENS3, Cambridge, UK

I am visiting the third Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS3) conference, which will be held from 6-10 September 2007 at Queens’ College, Cambridge. Aubrey de Grey (with whom I made a blogterview in 2006), the main organizer and soul behind the conference is clear about the purpose: “The purpose of the SENS conference series,… Continue reading Going to another unconventional science meeting: SENS3, Cambridge, UK

People I missed on SciFoo Camp, 2007: The Google Scholar team

There were around 200 campers at the SciFoo Camp, but there are at least 10 times more who could also be easily invited by the same token. There was only real surprise to me concerning the missing: I’ve never found the Google Scholar team members. Where were the Scholar founders, Anurag Acharya and Alex Verstak,… Continue reading People I missed on SciFoo Camp, 2007: The Google Scholar team

Trivia: Joshua Davis, the journalist is not Joshua Davis, the designer

So far I’ve had the wrong belief that my favourite Wired Journalist, Joshua Davis is the same person as Joshua Davis, the designer, who once has been featured in Wired (not by Joshua Davis, the journalist). The root of my misconception was the common source of my knowledge on these 2 guys, namely Wired magazine.… Continue reading Trivia: Joshua Davis, the journalist is not Joshua Davis, the designer

Microfluidics at SciFoo, 2007: packing cells into bubbles

Microfluidics deals with the behavior, precise control and manipulation of microliter and nanoliter volumes of fluids. Manu Prakash, grad student from the M.I.T.’s Center for Bits and Atoms had a 100% presentation on microfluidics at the SciFoo Camp, 2007. The small audience (I remember Jeff Hawkins and Lincoln Stein amongst others) was really amazed by… Continue reading Microfluidics at SciFoo, 2007: packing cells into bubbles

iPhone as a SciFoone: a perfect tourist device except the battery

On my SciFoo California trip I eventually have had enough time to test my iPhone as a tourist device. The following tasks have been regularly done by my iPhone while walking in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Berkeley and at the Googleplex: – extensive Google Maps usage (Google Maps is the poor man’s GPS as I’ve… Continue reading iPhone as a SciFoone: a perfect tourist device except the battery

3minutemadness at SciFoo, 2007

At the opening session at SciFoo at the Googleplex, everybody had to stand up and say 1 intro sentence and 3 words or phrases describing the interests and expertises of the person. pseudonomad caught my intro (the name of the picture: 3minutemadness) with his iPhone: What did I say exactly: don’t remember the intro (a… Continue reading 3minutemadness at SciFoo, 2007

SciFoo Camp, 2007: words and recommendations

The Sci Foo check-in process is a happy one, unlike other check-ins: when you are in, the organizers give you gifts, take a photo on you (to put it on a board) and you are asked to fill in a short intro paper with 2 points: 5 words or phrases that describe your interests and… Continue reading SciFoo Camp, 2007: words and recommendations

SciFoo links visualized by TouchGraph Google Browser

The Google Hacks book from O’Reilly was one out of the free goodies on the SciFoo last weekend. Hack #3 is Visualize Google Results with the TouchGraph Java applet that allows you to visually explore the connections between related websites. Of course I started with the term “scifoo” with the setting of filtering single nodes… Continue reading SciFoo links visualized by TouchGraph Google Browser

SciFoo Camp, 2007: data (Google) publishing (Nature) geeks (O’Reilly)

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)