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RIGHT OR RISK? WORLD'S FIRST PUBLIC BIOBRICK
24 Sep 2012; Laura Cinti - 27 Sep 2012

worlds first public biobrick

Risk or Right? - the Worlds first Public BioBrick: Exploring Public Access to the Tools of Synthetic Biology. As part of UCL iGEM’s advisory team, C-LAB helped orchestrate the event at the Grants Museum of Zoology providing a rich fusion of components to disseminate what happens when we invite biohackers to the field of synthetic biology.  

introductionPhilipp Boeing (UCL iGEM) welcoming and introducing the evening with Howard Boland (C-LAB) and the London Hackspace.  

molecular cocktailsThe smashing cocktails by mixologist Haralambos Dayantis with James Rutley (UCL iGEM)A molecular cocktail bar had been set up with stacks of polystyrene boxes filled with dry ice as a makeshift freezer serving spectacular and delicously strong drinks such as 'The Ginger Gene', 'Craig Venter’s Cherry Vodka' and 'DNA In Vitro' in super chilled sample tubes. 

sitaristThe brilliant sitarist, Jonathan Mayer.

Seated amongst a collage of displays, our sitar player (Jonathan Mayer) filled the room with an esoteric eastern atmosphere. 

howard bolandHoward Boland (C-LAB) explaining what was happening as the DNA fragments start splitting. 

world first public biobrick exhibit
The custom made box hosting the 'Public BioBrick'. 

At the centre, a real-time gel visualisation box presented us with the first ‘Public BioBrick’ - an anti-freeze gene (as it emerged) produced by the biohackers (London Hackspace) with the help and training of UCL iGEM 2012.

q&a with biohackers and UCL iGEM

Wrapping up the event - a debate on the topic of public access led by UCL iGEM coordinator Philipp Boeing with the biohackers and iGEMers teaching them.

Q & A

The event follows on from the critical and engaging speed debate aimed at tackling ethics of releasing GMO into the oceans as part of this year’s iGEM project Plastic Republic. The 2012 UCL iGEM architectural bioremediating project aims to bind microplastic in the Pacific Ocean to build new land or floating islands (i.e. Plastic Republic) by making use of about 100 million tons submerged micro-plastic pollutants (known as "the Great Pacific Garbage Patch").

Photos of the 'Right or Risk' evening can be seen on UCL iGEM's facebook page or UCL iGEM's website.

UCL iGEM's video with background to DIYbio collaboration - "Public BioBrick" 

Other References: Synthetic Bacteria Could Turn Ocean Garbage into One Big Island (Smithsonian)
Amateur scientists build Lego-style synthetic BioBricks in public lab (Wired UK)
Nanobots could turn 'Great Pacific Plastic Patch' into a floating island (Wired UK)
Students synthesizing bacteria to create islands out of garbage (DVICE)
Land Grab: Could Bioremediation Turn Pacific Garbage Patch Into Habitable Island? (Good)
Land Grab: Could Bioremediation Turn Pacific Garbage Patch Into Habitable Island? (Good)
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
C-LAB:blog: Synthetic Life - getting serious about genetic engineering
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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