DIYbio (organization)

DIYbio is an informal umbrella organization for individual and local groups active in do-it-yourself biology , encompassing both a website and an email list . [1] It serves as a network [2] of Individuals from around the globe That AIMS to help make biology a worthwhile pursuit for citizen scientists, biohackers , amateur biologists, and do-it-yourself biological engineers Who value openness and safety. [3] It was founded by Jason Bobe and Mackenzie Cowell in 2008. [4]

The website provides resources for those in the do-it-yourself biology community. It maintains a directory of local groups encompassing both meetup groups and organizations maintaining community laboratory space, and a weekly blog listing events hosted by these organizations. The site also hosts a professional biosafety feature called “biosafety professional”.


The blending of biology expertise Gained from experimentation, and software development, quality control, awareness of open source principles, and security expertise Transferred from the professional work of Many DIYbio enthusiasts, Has Led to a single subculture Among this community, with some members referring to They as biopunks in reference to the cypherpunks of the turn of the century. The work ‘A Biopunk Manifesto’ [5] delivered by Patterson at the UCLA conference, Eric Hughes, a speaker on the principles of the biopunk movement . Patrik Ronnqvist, a Swedish biopunk who owns the , characterizes the difference between DIYbio and biopunk as being one of goals; he claims DIYbio hobbyists are more interested in building equipment Their Own, Possibly due to a Maker influence, whereas the Biopunks are More Focused on results, and THUS are open to outside contracting of gene sequencing and other procedures Necessary for synthetic biology experiments. [6] That a significant proportion of the DIYbio mailing list membership is openly in support of outsourcing DNA synthesis and sequencing makes it difficult to determine whether this definition truly applies; in general, the two hobbies are impossible to distinguish and share a common community. Both are forms of citizen science. As DIYbio HAS grown, tools and materials Have Become available Including instruction is how to build lab equipment [7] and DIYbio stores like The ODIN That Provide inexpensive materials.

Some participants call themselves ‘ biohackers ‘, but hackers in the sense of infiltrating protected places and stealing information, but hackers in the original sense of taking things apart and putting them back together in a new, better way. [1] These biohackers often pursue these interests outside of their jobs, companies or institutional labs.


Beginning in 2009 the FBI Engaged members of the DIYbio Google Groups mailing list much like they engage scientific boards at universities and businesses. The dialogue focuses on safety issues and aims to instill a sense of self-policing in the ad-hoc online community. Because DIYbio and biohacking takes place on the international level, the FBI is limited in its ability to monitor and investigate all activity. However, in 2012 the FBI held a DIYbio conference in Walnut Creek, California where they paid to fly in biohackers from all over the world in an attempt to forge a connection to the DIYbio community. [8]

This paper was published in Newcastle Maker in March, 2010, with DNA extraction experiments and projects involving insulation of luminescent bacteria being demonstrated or given away. The “Dremelfuge”, an open-source, 3D printed Dremel-powered centrifuge, [9] was presented as an example of how Biotech can be made more accessible. A presentation on the potential of DIYbio and synthetic biology. [10]

Internal discussions and proposed projects for DIYbio members often include discussion of risk mitigation and public perception. An oft-discussed is the search for a convenient and safe ” model organism ” for DIYbio which would evoke less suspicion than E.coli. Suggestions include Janthinobacterium lividum , [11] Bacillus subtilis , Acetobacteria or Gluconacetobacter spp. , and baker’s yeast . A list of potential biosafe organisms has been drawn up by the National Center for Biotechnology Education. [12]

See also

  • Synthetic biology
  • Genetic engineering


  1. ^ Jump up to:b “About DIYbio” .
  2. Jump up^ “Global distribution of DIYbio sites” .
  3. Jump up^ “DIYbio / FAQ” .
  4. Jump up^ “PBS News Hour” . 31 Dec 2008.
  5. Jump up^ A Biopunk ArchivedManifesto2012-10-01 at theWayback Machine.
  6. Jump up^ On the Difference between Biopunk and DIYbio
  7. Jump up^ Build My Lab Instructables
  8. Jump up^ Scroggins, Michael (Fall 2013). “DIYbio and the” New FBI ” ” . O’Reilly BioCoder .
  9. Jump up^ “DremelFuge – One-Piece Centrifuge for Rotary Tools” .
  10. Jump up^ Ward, Mark (March 31, 2010). “Tech Know: Life hacking with 3D printing and DIY DNA kits” . BBC News .
  11. Jump up^ Janthinobacterium lividum
  12. Jump up^ National Center for Biotechnology Education | Recommended bacteriaArchived2010-06-12 at theWayback Machine.

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