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  Visiting London Hackspace with UCL iGEM

Visiting London Hackspace with UCL iGEM

This year UCL iGEM team is challenging public accessibility of standardised biological components (BioBricks™) by collaborating with London Hackspace - a community-run workshop in Shoreditch (Cremer Business Centre, Unit 24). As advisor on the UCL iGEM team, I came along with a PCR....

Visiting London Hackspace with UCL iGEM

Part of the space is dedicated to tinkering and soldiering. Here, arduinos, computer parts, even self-made 3D-printers (image below, called 'the cupcake') and old IRC technology is very much alive. 

Visiting London Hackspace with UCL iGEM

The workshop area is equipped with tools for wood work, laser cutting and mounting. At the back a small photography room is used as a shared DIY biohacking space fitted with a PCR machine, an improvised pulsating incubator (image below) and a small fridge filled with surprisingly many reagents, including a Taq PCR mixture. 

Visiting London Hackspace with UCL iGEM

On arrival, a quick tour of the hackerspace was followed by a discussion with one biohacker.  Waving the handbook  'Genetics for Dummies', he describes his struggle to grasp the vast knowledge space of molecular biology before turning to us asking 'how do I do it?'

Visiting London Hackspace with UCL iGEM

A brief background to the hackerspace can be outlined as an open knowledge democratising foundation where members pay what they can in monthly contributions to partake.

Visiting London Hackspace with UCL iGEM

One member of the UCL iGEM team worked with the hackers to construct a DIY shaker using cardboards, springs and a motor. In the biohacking space (the photography room) another UCL iGEM member was busy checking plates and preparing the biohackers to PCR out a gene inferring frost resistance. Overnight plates had no growth but we had brought backups and these colonies were used as templates. 

Visiting London Hackspace with UCL iGEM

Back in the workshop, the seventh design attempt for the shaker was being implemented. An Arduino had been reprogrammed and connected with a potentiometer to control the frantic motor speed and it looked like it was finally going to work...  

Visiting London Hackspace with UCL iGEM

Photos of UCL iGEM's DIYbio collaboration with Hackspace workshop.   

 
https://london.hackspace.org.uk/
 
Other References: UCL iGEM 2012
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C-LAB:blog: Gene machine takes the prize
C-LAB:blog: KatE in a Jar
C-LAB:blog: London Hackspace at UCL Cruciform Lab
C-LAB:blog: One too many cocktails of nucleic acids....
C-LAB:blog: Right or Risk? Preparation at London Hackspace
C-LAB:blog: Synthetic Biology, Creating ring pattern in a lawn of bacteria
C-LAB:blog: Synthetic Biology, Programmed Population Control
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C-LAB:blog: The Gibson Assembly Song
C-LAB:blog: Tic toc goes the bacteria clock
C-LAB:blog: Visiting London Hackspace with UCL iGEM
C-LAB:blog: Visiting the Grant Museum of Zoology
C-LAB:event: BIO ART WORKSHOP
C-LAB:event: CAGE RATTLING #1: KILL SWITCH
C-LAB:event: RE-NEW DIGITAL ARTS FESTIVAL
C-LAB:event: RIGHT OR RISK? WORLD'S FIRST PUBLIC BIOBRICK
C-LAB:event: SPEED DEBATE ON SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY AND NEURO-ETHICS
C-LAB:event: SYNTHESIS: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY IN ART & SOCIETY
C-LAB:event: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY SOCIETY KICK OFF EVENT
C-LAB:event: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY SPEED DEBATE
C-LAB:event: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY WORKSHOP
C-LAB:event: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY: MACHINE OR LIFE?
Dana Centre: Synthetic Biology: Machine or Life?
London Science Festival: Synthetic Biology: Machine or Life?
 
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