DIYbiology – a growing movement
January 26th, 2010

David Cassel (aka “Destiny” )brought to our attention a marvelous feature article in  h+ Magazine by Parijata Mackey entitled: DIY Bio: A Growing Movement Takes on Aging


CLICK HERE to read the digital edition.

This article profiles a growing movement – DIY biology – that’s made possible in part by open source tools. Using programs like BioPerl and BioPython, DIY biologists write their own code (computer and genetic), designing their own biological systems and altering the genome.

“A movement is growing quietly, steadily, and with great speed. In basements, attics, garages, and living rooms, amateurs and professionals alike are moving steadily towards disparate though unified goals. They come home from work or school and transform into biologists: do-it-yourself biologists, to be exact.”

What makes this movement so fascinating is it’s extent and nature as the movement evolves,  notes Destiny,  that these DIYbiology cooperatives are “springing up where hobbyists pool resources and create ‘hacker spaces’ to reduce costs and share knowledge. “As the shift to open source software continues, computational biology will become even more accessible, and even more powerful,”  Furthermore, according to Destiny,  there is even a form of DIYbio Flash mobs emerging, where large-scale collaborations come together to investigate “distributed environmental sensing” of microbe patterns around the world!

It is also worth noting that this article highlights the fact that Stanford University’s  protein-folding simulator, Folding@home, which can be argued to be the most powerful distributed computing cluster in the world.

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