Biology, life sciences, microfluidics (10:30-11:30)


Session Title: biology, life sciences, microfluidics
Date: 23/03/2017
Attendees (who was there?): Juan Pedro, Shingo, Ryan Hammond, Shneel, Fernando, Juan, Juanma, Tobey, Bengt, Ryan Fobel, Lawrence, Andre, Jenny, Phil, Andrew, Pierre, Stacey, Eduardo, Mohanty, Alexis, Paloma.

Overview of topic (3-6 sentences): We discussed what challenges arise from the field of life sciences, biology, synthetic biology and microfluidics. We discussed how open hardware can for example solve the problem of non-reproducibility of scientific data (publications even in high impact journals like Nature or Science have low reproducibility). Another example is the potential of open hardware to “fix” the medical industry or biomedical research by supplying more reliable, affordable or distributed production of equipment or knowledge.
Also, we discussed how the different regulations in Chile, US, Europe, force high schools, hackerspace or scientists to make different experiments. A challenge was what kind of experiments we can perform without a biosafety level 1 lab, just in a kitchen.
Furthermore, it was pointed out as a challenge to be able to produce scientific data that can join a scientific publication. Many participants were concerned that many workshops about science or microfluidics were just reduce to “playing” or tinkering.
Finally, the role of art in communicating and teaching science was also valued by all participants.

Post its: genetics, microbiology, synthetic biology,
JP asks: what is bringing you to this group
FERNANDO interested in DIY microfuidics
STACEY what kind of biology can happening without a biosafety level one certification
what is possible without the lab
JUAN says that there are many regulations that are different
SHNEEL how is synthetic biology made available to the public. do we want knowledge dissemination, or we want to dap the phenomena, communicate the culture? What is the real objective of involving life science. what do we want from the field of life sciences?
JP asks to the group for the definition of synthetic biology.
JENNY coordinates a synthetic biology initiative. Applying format engineering principles to what we currently do in biology. Biology typically is observational, or reverse engineering something, synthetic biology is more of building something.
TOBBY proposes three lines of effort:

  • Microfuidics hackathon, he things that anything out of the hackathin will be of any use.
  • cell free biology, no hazard.
  • doing actual research
    tobby is interested in single cell microfuidics analysis. with 3D printed devices you can really do single cell analysis. lobby realised that most of the people didn’t have overlapping skills, they were just paying around and discovering.
    PHIL is a very ideological term he feels there is not much difference with the type of biology that has been done before.
    MOHANTY what about life science in citizen science?
    ANDRE the point maybe there is no a general point, everyone is doing what they want. The more the tech evolves the cheaper it is. For example with crisp you can modify for 20$. we should perhaps discuss the ethical boundaries and not that much about the legal boundaries because they might change and they vary between countries.
    BENKT science is somehow broken because we cant replicate experiments and many data is closes. We could fix the medical industry, the science research by OSH. IT will be politically significant is the future that people have an opinion about these things.
    JUAN bring biology back to the life of the people in the way that computer science was introduces by apple to individuals and homes.
    round robin #########################
    PIERRE diy bio is very new for latin america. we have different spaces and a list ??? how to make biology more accesible, outside a lab.
    PALOMA how do we build interfaces to bridge the microword to the macro world how can they be communicated and how can they be suatines.
    ANDREW works in conservation biology, trying to see what environmental problem might arise and how to stop them. how can we make development not detrimental to the environment,
    STACEY what has impact that is not just tinkering.
    JENNY how things we learn to OSH can we applied to bio materials: cell lines, dan parts, etc…
    LAWRENCE sees a lot of things borrowed in robotics from biology as well in how to design systems.
    RYAN FOBEL how to build the tools, technology, hardware, to make biology easy to do. biology is the opposite of open source all secretive. making biology more what is happenning in software.
    BENGT open hardware revolution coming to biology.
    TOBEY generate quantitative data. he
    wats people to document it before that last version. he wants to see also the calibration
    JUAN how arts teaches science.
    GINA new gadgets in synthetic biology
    SHNEEL biology in architecture.environments that are more responsive. she gets her experiments in a normal kitchen. she thinks in doable to make science without a formal lab.
    MOHANTY thinks that there are not enough data. democratise the privilege of science getting a larger amount of data.
    ALEXIS democratizing science research itself, how can science groups in academic be also more fair to students, to patients, how ar people involve in making the question. the credit goes to the person that formulates the question but most of the time the proposition of the question isn’t open to a bigger public or there people.
    RYAN HAMMOND violence from the pharmaceutical industry for the queer and trans community. make tools available to the people that can asks the questions or that are affected by the questions
    SHINGO is here to find some hits, he makes a PCR and he wants to learn more about biology. he wants to make of
    JUANMA things that microfuidics scientific accuracy and
    JP thinks that validation and calibration is a big gap.
    JUAN 80 percent of hit papers are not reproducible. Science Nature publications. don’t forget that.
    We could be the solution those problems!
    RYAN HAMMOND what happens if studies are not reproducible.
    TOBEY we need to convince academics that our results are good, but they do not supervise us in the lab they just see the paper. it si very hard to prove a lack of results than a positive result or fact.
    ANDRES what is a failed experiment and what is a negative results. negative results don’t hype up the media. The experiments that don’t work is a different thing. Probability makes positive results more apparent than other times.
    ANDREW irreproducibility reports 4 times more likely to be rejected than research papers.
    FERNANDO: tools can also upgrade traditional or cultural knowledge about science.
    ALEXIS: her experience is in a big big lab in germany, She doesn’t know how reproducible it is. Memory of water. Person to person differences when performing experiments.
    JP there is a journal of negative scientific results, impact factor is very small.
    RYAN FOBEL many many times something does not work so we cannot extract conclusions, is it random probability?
    JUAN biology has also non scientific aspects, we are also biology. there is a lot of biology there is more than science. Umberto Maturana works from Chile.
    RYAN HAMMOND. uninformed debate about GMO to make people the tools to make decisions. this is going to shift our society in the future.

ARTS and Science and their roe in communicating, teaching biology.


hoi zäme,

sad i missed this session. but let me announce an upcoming event, even more dedicated to exactly these issues.

i am involved in the BioFabbing Convergence [Fabrications and Fabulations], in Geneva, 10-14. May.
and yes, we’ll be hosted in the same venue of the first GOSH, @ Idea2, CERN.

some info is here:

and the website:

some of you are already in the program. i’ll make a specific post on this forum to clarify how to get involved, travel support and other logistics.