Things to read and think about for BioFabbing

It would be awesome to share some interesting articles, reflections, websites and practices in the pre-phase of BioFabbing, so we can all start together with the discussions on a common higher base of shared knowledge…

i start with some nice articles our colleagues from the GOSH team just published:

It shows examples on how the Open Hardware for Open Science in combination with inclusivity and equity could be an approach to make the future of society and our scientific endeavour more fruitful.

Another list we compiled during and after HackteriaLab 2014 - Yogyakarta:


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I think this is interesting:


Thanks Luc!

i have collected similar articles on the hackteria wiki, similarly more on the Maker hype (less bio), but yes, loads if interesting reflections and stuff to discuss in the context of the BioFabbing topics.


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There will be of course a lot of discussion about the recent CRISPR-hype… (and we’ll eat great local cheese!)

this just came out:
Rapid risk assessment: Risk related to the use of ‘do-it-yourself’ CRISPR-associated gene engineering kit contaminated with pathogenic bacteria

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I really dont wanna get stuck on the bio-security issue… but

this one just came out in Switzerland. @gaudi and myself were once invited (and paid to sit there), but it was a very weird kinda secret meeting … also something we can adress.

Swiss Academies Report 12 (3)
Misuse potential and biosecurity in life sciences research
A discussion basis for scientists on how to address the dual use dilemma of biological research

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re: Why I Am Not a Maker, this makes me think of the Maintainers research group

In short, I see this as a counter the cult of tech utopianism by pointing out that all of this utopian tech regularly breaks and malfunctions, and that just as much skill and labor goes into maintaining our gadgets and built environment as into making it.

But it also makes me think about the real costs it takes to make our things these days and how we might maintain them instead of constantly replacing them. Or alternately, build things that are 100% biodegradable and carbon-negative and make new ones in simple ways.

Anyway, throwing this out there!

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There’s a nice project over at the Open Source Circular Economy Days to design a poster that encapsulates the principles of circularity in making… might be interesting for some.
The latest iteration of the design is still under construction, but here’s an interim version:

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Thanks, great point, it made me think of the Appropriate Technology movement of the 1970s.


In Nature: “DIY memo The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm has called on European Union member states to review their procedures for authorizing do-it-yourself gene-engineering kits produced in the United States. The kits, which are intended to contain a harmless strain of the common laboratory bacterium Escherichia coli, use CRISPR precision-editing technologies and are targeted at citizen scientists. The move followed the discovery in March by German authorities that some kits had been contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, including some multidrug-resistant strains. Germany has since banned their import. The ECDC’s assessment report concluded that the risk of infection to users is low.”



(Thank you for this wonderful convergence/conference!)

In the extension of some of the frustrations and discussions I heard about the relation between scholars and biohackers (and how the scholars are scared to pass on their knowledge (back?) to the biohackers), here a rudimentary list of existing literature I am aware of about biohacking.

Sadly, most of it will not be available to all (for free), but everyone feel free to contact me if you are interested in one (or more) texts in particular, I can share.

If anyone has some other literature to share, please feel free to do so! (I limited myself to more ‘academic’ literature or books, and so I excluded newspaper articles etc. in this list).


  • Akst, Jef - The Rebirth of DIYbio
  • Austen, Kat - Out of the lab and onto the streets
  • Baker, Beth - DIYbio - Alternative Career Path for Biologists?
  • Bennett, Gaymon & Gilman, Nils & Stavrianakis, Anthony & Rabinow, Paul - From synthetic biology to biohacking: are we prepared?
  • Brian J. Gorman - Patent Office as Biosecurity Gatekeeper: Fosering Responsible Science and Building Public Trust in DIY Science
  • Buiani, Roberta - Biolab-on-Wheels: finding a space for a DIY bio lab in Toronto
  • Charisius, Hanno & Friebe, Richard & Karberg, Sascha - Biohacking: Gentechnik aus der Garage
  • Curry, Helen Anne - From garden biotech to garage biotech: amateur experimental biology in historical perspective
  • Davies, Sarah R. & Karin Tybjerg & Louise Whiteley & Thomas Söderqvist - Co-curation as hacking: biohackers in Copenhagen’s Medical Museion
  • Delfanti, Alessandro - Biohackers: The Politics of Open Science
  • Delfanti, Alessandro - Tweaking genes in your garage: biohacking between activism and entrepreneurship
  • Delfanti, Alessandro - Is Do-it-Yourself Biology Being Co-opted by Institutions?
  • Delfanti, Alessandro - Distributed biotechnology
  • Delfanti, Alessandro - Hacking genomes. The ethics of open and rebel biology
  • Delgado, Ana - DIYbio: Making things and making futures
  • Editorial - Empowering citizen scientists
  • Eggleson, Kathleen - Transatlantic Divergences in Citizen Science Ethics - Comparative Analysis of the DIYbio Code of Ethics Drafts of 2011
  • Gewin, Virginia - Independent streak
  • Golinelli, Stefano & Guido Ruivenkamp - Do-it-yourself biology: Action research within the life sciences
  • Grushkin, D., Kuiken, T., Millet, P - Seven Myths & Realities about Do-It-Yourself Biology
  • Grushkin, Daniel - Am I a biohazard?
  • Holloway, Dustin - Regulating Amateurs
  • Jefferson, Chaterine - Governing Amateur Biology: Extending Respnonsible Research and Innovation in Synthetic Biology to New Actors
  • Kean, Sam - A Lab of Their Own
  • Kelty, Christopher - Outlaw, hackers, victorian amateurs: diagnosing publich participation in the life sciences today
  • Kera, Denisa - Hackerspaces and DIYbio in Asia: connecting science and community with open data, kits and protocols
  • Kera, Denisa - Innovation regimes based on collaborative and global tinkering: Synthetic biology and nanotechnology in the hackerspaces
  • Kuiken, Todd - DIYbio: Low Risk, High Potential
  • Kuiken, Todd - Learn from Do-It-Yourself Biologists
  • Kuznetsov, Stacey - Expanding Our Visions of Citizen Science
  • Kuznetsov, Stacey & Alex Taylor & Tim Regan & Nicolas Villar & Eric Paulos - At the seams: DIYbio and opportunities for HCI
  • Kuznetsov, Stacey & Carrie Doonan & Nathan Wilson & Swarna Mohan & Scott E. Hudson & Eric Paulson - DIYbio Things: Open Source Biology Tools as Platforms fo rHybrid Knowledge Production and Scientific Participation
  • Landrain, Thomas & Meyer, Morgan & Perez, Ariel Martin & Sussan, Remi - Do-it-yourself biology: challenges and promises for an open science and technology movement
  • Lisa Z. Scheifele & Thomas Burkett - The First Three Years of a Community Lab: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward
  • McKenna, Phil - Rise of the garage genome hackers
  • Meyer, Morgan - Build your own lab
  • Meyer, Morgan - Domesticating and democratizing science: a geography of do-it-yourself biology
  • Meyer, Morgan - Hacking Life? The Politics and Poetics of DIY Biology
  • Meyer, Morgan - Bricoler, domestiquer et contourner la science
  • Nascimento, Susana & Angela Guimaraes Pereira & Alessia Ghezzi - From Citizen Science to Do It Yourself Science
  • NSABB - Strategies to Educate Amateur Biologists and Scientists in Non-life Science Disciplines About Dual use Research in the Life Science
  • Schmidt, Markus - Diffusion of synthetic biology
  • Scudellari, Megan - Biology Hacklabs
  • Seyfried, Günter & Pei, Lei & Schmidt, Markus - European do-it-yourself (DIY) biology: Beyond the hope, hype and horror
  • Sholette, Gregory - Disciplining the avant-garde: The United States versus the Critical Art Ensemble
  • Sipra Bihani & Michael Hartman & Florian Sobiegalla & Amanda rosenberg - Comparing network strutures of commercial and non-commercial biohacking online-communities
  • Söderberg, Johan & Delfanti, Alessandro - Hacking Hacked! The Life Cycles of Digital Innovation
  • Söderberg, Johan & Delfanti, Alessandro - Repurposing the hacker. Three temporalities of recuperation
  • Tocchetti, Sara - DIYbiologists as ‘Makers’ of Personal Biologies
  • Tocchetti, Sara - What kind of work we are doing now and what kind of work we want to do
  • Tocchetti, Sara & Sara Angeli Aguiton - Is an FBI Agent an DIY Biologist Like Any Oter? A Cultural Analysis of a Biosecurity Risk
  • Trojok, Rüdiger - Biohacking: Gentechnologie für Alle
  • van Boheemen, Pieter & Huib de Vriend - Do-it-yourself biology: Een verkenning van ontwikkelingen in Nederland
  • Wohlsen, Marcus - Biopunk: Solving Biotech’s Biggest Problems in Kitchens and Garages


Thanks so much for this amazing list! There’s lots of stuff on here I’ve never heard of.

Thank a lot for all these references…

A great classic, the Gift by Marcel Mauss:
With free PDFs available online. It starts with a old Scandinavian poem:

"I have never found a man so generous and hospitable that he would not receive a present, nor one so liberal with his money that he would dislike a reward if he could get one.
Friends should rejoice each others’ hearts with gifts of weapons and raiment, that is clear from one’s own experience. That friendship lasts longest—if there is a chance of its being a success—in which friends both give and receive gifts._

A man ought to be a friend to his friend and repay gift with gift. People should meet smiles with smiles and lies with treachery.

Know—if you have a friend in whom you have sure confidence and wish to make use of him, you ought to exchange ideas and gifts with him and go to see him often.

If you have another in whom you have no confidence and yet will make use of him, you ought to address him with fair words but crafty heart and repay treachery with lies.

Further, with regard to him in whom you have no confidence and of whose motives you are suspicious, you ought to smile upon him and dissemble your feelings. Gifts ought to be repaid in like coin.

Generous and bold men have the best time in life and never foster troubles. But the coward is apprehensive of everything and a miser is always groaning over his gifts.

Better there should be no prayer than excessive offering; a gift always looks for recompense. Better there should be no sacrifice than an excessive slaughter."

Havamal, vv. 39, 41-2, 44-6, 48 and 145, from the translation by D. E. Martin Clarke in The Havamal, with Selections from other Poems in the Edda, Cambridge, 1923.

This is such a wonderful book. Thanks for posting!

Thank you !! :slight_smile:

PhD Candidate

Institut CurieInstitut institut Pierre-Gilles de Gennes pour la
Microfluidique (IPGG)

Frontiers in Life Sciences PhD program (FdV)
Tel: +33 (0)781451408 Twitter: @juanmagararc Web:

I’m just gonna drop this here:

It is a book for the 10th anniversary of the Italian tech/media collective Autistici/Inventati, or A/I. Goes back to when “hacking” was a dirty word…