Team:London Biohackspace/blog

iGEM Bootcamp @ University College London

Monday 15th June 2015

The UCL iGEM boot camp is a week long event designed to provide iGEM participants with a crash course in the skills necessary to compete in the iGEM competition. This years boot camp was attended by team members from University College London's own 2015 undergraduate team along with team members from Birkbeck University and the community-run London Biohackspace laboratory. The camp primarily consisted of a number of technical workshops designed to help iGEM newcomers (and a few grizzled veterans) develop essential iGEM lab skills such as biobrick design and construction along with bacterial culturing and transformation techniques. Further workshops were also available on topics such as how computational modelling can lead to iGEM success, constructing your own spectrophotometer and how to build an award winning wiki (without having to stay up all night on wiki-freeze deadline day). Previous iGEM participants were on hand throughout the week to provide assistance as well as offer invaluable advice on how this years teams can excel in the iGEM competition (step 1:rob a bank). The week concluded with a mini-jamboree in which each team presented their chosen project and current progress to the rest of the group in a format similar to the iGEM giant jamboree held in Boston at the end of the competition.

Workshop at Shuffle Festival

Friday 26th June 2015

Shuffle Festival was a week long festival held in Mile End. The week-long festivities involve film, science, storytelling, performance art, architectural installations, walks, food, comedy and music. Members from London Biohackspace had an opportunity to run a stall on July 26th at the Migration Pavilion. We ran a “Beer Simulation Workshop” where we provided visitors with Vanilla, Lemon and Miraculin flavour.

Do Scientist dream of synthetic sheep? Edinburgh show by Jack Heal

Saturday 8th August 2015

The London Biohackers are working with Jack Heal to communicate the ideas and development of our 2015 iGEM project at the first ever comedy lecture on synthetic biology. Sponsored by the Royal Society of chemistry, the show aims to answer the most pressing question in synthetic biology like: What is a spider goat? Can we create artificial life? And why haven’t we made a real Jurassic Park yet… along with discussing the potentials of biobricks and genetic engineering. Also all the attendees of the lecture received information about iGEM and the London BioHackers stickers to take away with them. Shows were presented everyday from the 8/8/2015 to the 29/8/2015 with each week the London Biohackers iGEM presentation evolving as the project evolved. We will have more feedback through in the coming weeks.

On the radio ...

Saturday 8th August 2015

To further our aims to open up synthetic biology to the wider community we have been looking for media opportunities to share the igem ideas to the community. The initial contact was made during SynbioBeta which was held in April at Imperial college. Bringing together a large section of the UK Synthetic biology community with great international speakers to. During the event the London Biohackers were asked to comment for the BBC … this then grew into a full blown interview that took place in the London Biohacker Lab in the Hackspace in Hackney. FutureProofing is a new series in which presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson examine the implications - social and cultural, economic and political - of the big ideas that are set to transform the way our society functions. The London Biohackersg iGEM team meet with Jonathan Brunert the producer of Future Proofing and Leo Johnson to talk about the development of the biohacking community, the labs itself, our ethics and safety practices, how we achieved CL1 Status, the iGEM project that team is currently working, and the impact synthetic biology will have on how things are made in the future. The show aired on Wednesday 12th of August and was repeated on Saturday 15th of August. We were honoured to be speaking alongside some of the most important people working in the field of synthetic biology today. – Craig Venter, Jim Ajoika and the Cambridge arsenic biosensor team, Jennifer Doudna, Daisy Ginsberg and FBI Special Agent Ed. For the article we have received very favourable feedback and alot of interest in future projects involving the labs facilities. Please listen and give us feedback on what you think we should talk about in future discussions.