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DATE: 11.10.2016     TAGS: bio · final project

There is a knowledge barrier

“Scientific texts are so dry and written for people that know how to read them” – Sveta

BioBricks are from varying quailty

“It’s mainly the responsibility of the ones creating it, so there is some fluctuation in quality” – Benjamin

You need some kind of lab

“In order to experiment with that kind of stuff you need a lab” – Sonja

There is no fully-accessible BSL-1 lab in Europe

“Europe was always known to be a big biotech hub [...] And we don’t have a bio hackerspace that can do GM work right now” – Keenan

Biologists running open labs are eager to help

“people are there to help. It’s not a big community” – Sveta

Europe’s open labs don’t share their resources

“People are more into the sharing culture rather than competition. Which I think it’s better for science in general” – Keenan

Designers are quite tech savvy

“I have a RFID chip [implanted]. Right now there is just a push link on it” – Sonja

Beginners are often missing an introduction

“I wished for some – if there would be a little kind of introduction course – just to get comfortable” – Sveta

Ethics and Safety is a huge issue

“That’s ironic: now we know that glyphosate is possibly cancerogenic... but still people were using 30% of the amount of pesticide on a GMO crop” – Gijs

These insights lead to a few interesting “how might we” questions:

How might we

..create accessible tools for synthetic biology?
..facilitate the sharing between the different labs?
..help open labs to gain BSL-1 status?
..improve the quality of the BioBrick database?
..spread the knowledge of risks and opportunities?
..help biologists teach synthetic biology in an open lab environment?

Areas to explore

The insights from the in depth interviews and the general HMW questions can be clustered into 3 main areas: tool, knowledge and legal.

If we could solve any of these general issues, the other would disappear automatically – in theory. Of course, it’s not realistic to assume that you could solve a whole area. If you change for example the legal situation tools and knowledge would be in effect become more accessible. If you provide easy-to-use tools, it generates knowledge which in return changes the legal situation.

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