Posts by: edo

Projects round-up summer 2015

The London Biohackspace is growing momentum and more and more projects are coming out from the heads of our members. As September approached, I thought of rounding up the projects, ideas, new tools and excitement that the space has catalysed in the past few months. iGEM The most active collaborative project is currently iGEM, which involves about ten of us and allows us focus on a specific idea for the summer. Other blog posts will describe it more in detail (as well as the iGEM wiki). In a few words we are engineering yeast (S. cerevisiae) to brew new types of beers, with designer properties that we may want to try in our ales. We are currently working on our cloning, setting up a series of protocols to easily transform both E. coli and S. cerevisiae in the lab. Our first biobrick encodes the Miraculin protein from Miracle berries, which makes sour taste sweet, and a series of other parts are planned to make all sorts of things with our beers: from glowing in the dark to feeding us with vitamins. The Synbio Breweries DIY Brew Kit aims to become an accessible kit containing a variety of engineered yeasts for use in homebrewing.   Bioluminescence The second most active collaborative projects is Bioluminescence, and in particular the culturing of some beautiful glow-in-the-dark oceanic plankton (remember Life of Pi?), that alternatively kindle our enthusiasm for DIY biology with the beautiful glow, or bring us to great despair when the heat wave in London killed our beloved culture. We are starting to explore very interesting areas of research with the Dinos (that’s the friendly name of the plankton “Dinoflagellate”) including their genetics, as well the possibility of picturing them under the microscope.   Lab automation: a DIY DNA foundry As we received our CL1 approval last...

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