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I'm sharing a major scientific program on aging that I support.

Click on the article below to learn more about it, and check out the fundraising campaign directly.

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So, scientists are now using Crispr-Cas9 to bring about a Genetic sex change for mosquitoes, which could stop the spread of the Zika virus. (1) Another article noted that when it comes to humans, CRISPR-Cas9 can potentially be used to edit genes that determine our physical features and maybe even our personality. (2) 

One has to wonder then, if Crispr-Cas9 could actually be used to help the transgender community, and bring about complete, genetic sex changes for these individuals?


(1) The Guardian
Tim Radford -

(2) US News

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Always wanted to build your own biohack lab? We'll teach you in 10 weeks. 100% open source. Join the third BioHack Academy, starting Feb 23rd. 

hi i have built a PCR "machine" but am looking at puting together realtime qPCR has any body done so?? I know OPEn qPCR has but would be keen to hear about sensor types and software etc etc

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Do-It-Yourself Biology? Messing Around with DNA Increasingly a Garage-Band Venture

Glen Martin

"Silicon is so passé. Those who are truly au courant in the coding world are working with carbon—specifically DNA, that most ancient and elegant of codes. Such biohacking is central to the rapidly expanding field of synthetic biology, a term that somehow seems a little threatening to many of us who are the products of the old fashioned kind of biology that’s been around since the planet first managed to gin up a few primitive prokaryotes 3.5 billion years ago.

That’s especially because messing around with DNA is increasingly a garage band kind of venture. The basic techniques and technology are now sufficiently disseminated so that any reasonably bright and inquisitive person can do all kinds of interesting things in a home or community lab. And—gulp—might that not include weaponizing Ebola or involve some other highly anti-social endeavor?

Relax (really). Those fears are overblown, opines Nina DiPrimio, the editor of BioCoder, a quarterly published by and for the DIYbio (as in, Do It Yourself biology) community.

 In the first place, says DiPrimio, endowing viruses with new and ever-more-lethal characteristics requires the kind of equipment and skill sets usually found only in large government or corporate labs. Second, if anyone wants to attempt it, the mischief-maker wouldn’t need to figure out how to manipulate Ebola or HIV. Relatively simple procedures already are known for weaponizing basic old anthrax, or manufacturing and distributing astoundingly powerful poisons such as ricin, or—well, you get the idea.

“It takes a lot of skill and equipment to do bad things” with gene-spliced microbes says DiPrimio, until recently a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley and the co-organizer of the university’s Synthetic Biology Super Group. “A DNA cloning class won’t teach you how to create something pathogenic. That isn’t to say potential dangers should be ignored. At a certain point, regulation (of homegrown biohacking) is likely. We don’t know what that will look like, but the community is aware of it and discussing it.”

DiPrimio is also deeply concerned about safety within these do-it-yourself operations. BioCoder’s articles include pointers to ensure one’s lab is legal, and emphasize basic protocols so tyro researchers don’t burn, blow up or electrocute themselves. But first and foremost, the publication serves as an agora for the biohacking community...."

BTW have a look to the paper about the Leukippos SynBio CloudLab in BioCoder:

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Our work in the latest issue of BioCoder:

Leukippos: A Synthetic Biology Lab in the Cloud

Pablo Cárdenas, Maaruthy Yelleswarapu, Sayane Shome, Jitendra Kumar Gupta, Eugenio Maria Battaglia, Pedro Fernandes, Alioune Ngom, and Gerd Moe-Behrens

"As we move deeper into the digital age, the social praxis of science undergoes fundamental changes, driven by new tools provided by information and communication technologies. Specifically, social networks and computing resources such as online cloud-based infrastructures and applications provide the necessary context for unprecedented innovations in modern science. These tools are leading to a planetary-scale connectivity among researchers and enable the organization of in silico research activities entirely through the cloud.

Research collaboration and management via the cloud will result in a drastic expansion of our problem-solving capacity, since groups of people with different backgrounds and expertise that openly gather around common interests are more likely to succeed at solving complex problems. Another advantage is that collaboration between individuals becomes possible regardless of their geographic location and background.

Here we present a novel, open-web application called Leukippos, which aims to apply these information and communication technologies to in silico synthetic biology projects. We describe both the underlying technology and organizational structure necessary for the platform’s operation. The synthetic biology software search engine, SynBioAppSelector, and the game, SynBrick, are examples of projects being developed on this platform."

Hmm... Even lambda's a little too big for what I'm trying to do right now. What's a small, easy to handle and well documented phage out there I should sample out for biotech goodness? 
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