Friday, March 20, 2009

Biohacking

I am more bio-challenged than bio-curious but this article on DYI biology for hobbyists makes for fascinating reading. The hobby in specific is described as : splicing DNA and reprogramming bacteria to create genetically engineered machinery. You could be working in a lab remotely from the comfort of your couch, collaborating on an experiment or doing grunt work for some scientist - Some of the people we're collaborating with are installing little wireless data loggers into pipettes that keep track of how many times you press the pipette button.

If such opportunities had existed back in my day, I might have actually understood biology instead of being terrified of it. The idea is to lower the barrier to enter the field of genetic engineering. A couple of PhDs is no longer required if you have abundant passion for biology.
It would clearly provide students great learning opportunities but as with everything else, in the wrong hands and driven by the bad intent the results would not be pretty.

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