Bacteria & DIY Genetic Engineers, aka, Biohackers

I just saw a totally awesome news piece on TV about Biohackers. The video I saw doesn’t seem to be on their news website, so I’ll explain the term:

Bonnie Bassler (right)

Scientifically inclined youngsters are setting up do-it-yourself biology laboratories at home. Likened to self-trained computer hackers, these enthusiasts — self-styled biohackers — browse online catalogues of DNA parts and order them from small commercial labs. With self-modified household items and used equipment acquired online, they try to tweak bacteria or synthesise novel organisms in their free time.

How cool is that! Catching this story is a peculiar coincidence as I also happened to watch a TEDtalk last night presented by Bonnie Bassler, a professor of molecular biology who discovered that bacteriatalk” to each other using a chemical language, and how the future of antibiotics lies in manipulating bacteria molecules:

~ by Fionnlagh on August 2, 2009.

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