DIY Biology: Manchester “citizen science” in action
Manchester DIYBio is a new collaboration project, based at Madlab, supported by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and funded by the Wellcome Trust.
A year-long project launched the Manchester branch of the global movement by creating an innovative “citizen science” community, enabling wider participation in biological research. Amateur scientists collaborated with researchers from MMU to develop and carry out a wide range of experiments, as part of the growing worldwide ‘biohacking’ community.
We’re now continuing as we mean to go on, with a varied programme of activities. Our meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month and open to all. For information on our current projects and next meeting, please see the activity page.
Who's it for?
Artists, creatives, technological types, hackers, tinkerers and scientists. Basically, anyone that's interested.
Why should I be interested?
Because it's cool! The costs and complexity of the tools and techniques needed to understand and manipulate the living world around us are decreasing rapidly – we are now at a watershed moment where biology is breaking out of its traditional lab environment, and we are seeing a proliferation of garage biologists, biohackers, creatives and citizen scientists getting involved. Garage labs are springing up all over the world (Genspace NYC, Biocurious and Biologi Garagen to name three), and artists and technologists are producing a range of interesting biology-related work such as "bacterial Pac Man" and e.chromi. Oh and for techie types, the MIT Media Lab have begun turning their attention to biology too.
What do I need?
You don't need any kind of previous biological knowledge or experience – just a healthy dose of inquisitiveness.
Meeting topics are diverse and may range from discussions of the ethical implications of bioscience, to hands-on practical experiments designed and carried out by the group. If you have any great ideas, bring them along and they may form part of the project.
How do I get involved?
Come along to the meetup! Follow us on Twitter @diybiomcr (and, for more general discussion, the #diybio hashtag).
Sign up to the DIYBIOMCR google group for updates and news.