Microbiology

Biohacking Crashcourse in Science Gallery, 14th - 18th June

It’s terribly late of me to share this on my own website, but here it is: This Tuesday next, 14th June, I’ll be commencing a five-day workshop in DIYbio and biohacking. The course is €150 and runs from 10am-3pm weekdays and 1-4pm on Saturday. Bookings through the Science Gallery please. Rough content breakdown by day: Introduction to Microbiology, Evolution, Genetics, Bacterial physiology, Synthetic Biology. Practical skills: Sterilising, maintaining sterility, basics of microbiology.

Current Work: Kombucha

By way of apology for the prior wall-of-text post, I’ll include here some information on what I am currently doing in the lab. Nothing’s ready or completed, but I figure some insight into my workings and goals at present might be nice. In keeping with my general intention to make it as easy as possible for amateurs to get into Biotech, I would like to offer a number of pretty easy starter cultures that people can get started with while not requiring too much early investment in equipment.

Cork/Dublin Workshoppery

This Friday and Saturday, I’m hosting three daily sessions of a DIYbio workshop, focusing on Amateur Microbiology and Biotechnology. The DIYbio workshops are in the Camden Palace Building, in Nexus Cork (the Cork Makerspace). Following that, I’m hosting another DIYbio workshop at Mindfield on April 29th in the Hackerspace tent at 8PM, which will follow the same format as the above. This workshop will focus on microbiology, genetic engineering and synthetic biology as topics of discussion, and participants will be shown the basic techniques of Microbiology.

Maker Faire Setup

Maker Faire UK 2011 begins tomorrow, and today exhibitors are being given a chance to set things up and prepare. As we’re offering a DIY microbiology event, we’ll need happy plates of microbes to work with, so our incubator is getting set up and our HEPA will be running on low speed to prepare for the day to come. By way of update, we actually have only 50 plates to give out due to damaged dishes in the package I received.

Isolation and Culture of Bioluminescent Bacteria

Update: Keep your bacteria in the dark. I had been doing this without meaning to, and was confused to hear a fellow microbiologist growing a derivative of my cultures in her lab and getting no glow. When she grew them in the dark, they glowed again! Brief exposures have no effect. It’s the prevailing light conditions that seem to decide whether to stay active. This may be due to the light breaking down the little peptide the bacteria use to detect whether there are enough of them to glow meaningfully, or it might be a deliberate evolutionary adaptation.

Homebrew Bacterial Media for the Microbiology Hobbyist or DIYbio Enthusiast

Update: The links to these files have always been precarious, sorry.. I’ve just re-uploaded the two main files, and soon I’ll be reworking them into my “biohacking protocols” repository on Github in Markdown format with separate images. Enjoy! Life is, as ever these days, quite busy! I have two trips coming up, one to Ignite in Dublin and one to the Newcastle Maker Faire (where Brian Degger of Transitlab.org and I will be hosting a little workshop on a few DIYbio experiments and fun stuff).