So, this isn't private news and it's already known to many, but there's some stuff I'd like to share here in the near future which may seem confusing or surprising unless I first officially come out with it on my blog. Since several weeks ago, I am officially the Scientific Director of IndieBio EU, the accelerator formerly known (and mentioned here) as Synbio Axlr8r. This is a pretty exciting shift for me; it closes a chapter where I worked under the umbrella of Glowbiotics, my open biotech start-up, and a stint as a mentor at Synbio Axlr8r 1.
I've written before about Biocurious, the nascent Hackerspace for Biology that is raising money to rent out a real, no-kidding biotech lab full of professional equipment for community and citizen science. It's ambitious, it's brilliant, and it's already resulted in a study that's been published in Nature Medicine (a very prestigious journal even for well-equipped lab scientists), long before they reach their funding goal. The study in question was an excellent example of the power of citizen science and collaborative work.
While researching homebrew chromatography, I got seriously sidetracked by several cool blogs on DIY science. DIYBIO4Beginners is over a year old, and has a huge number of posts covering mostly practical aspects of learning about Biotech and DIYbio. Of particular interest are the posts that contain video series’ teaching you about Biotech/Biochem, or “How-To”, etc. There's a lot of stuff in there, much of it news coverage, but the signal-to-noise is really excellent.
As fully outlined here on Derek Lowe's blog “In the Pipeline”, Quackwatch is getting sued by some quacks because he highlighted their use of a misleading diagnostic and how it could be used to push unnecessary and potentially dangerous treatments on clients. Quackwatch have a Paypal donation system, so if you feel like committing a fiver to their defense fund, I'm sure it'd be much appreciated. After all, I'm guessing there's more money in quackery than in exposing quackery!
I'm a fool to be up this late, but I have to give a quick shout out in favour of the Biocurious Hackerspace, and a strong suggestion that you help them reach their goal on Kickstarter. Biocurious is planned to be a place where people can learn about and “hack” biology with access to proper, modern biological lab equipment and with close communication with fellow enthusiasts and fully trained biologists to help out.
While looking up a protocol for growing bone marrow cells, I came across something quite different; a post on a blog about the author's bone marrow transplant. Particularly as I'm involved in cancer research, I found this very important right away. The author, Andrea, has devoted a blog to documenting her personal experiences as a cancer patient (with Hodgekin's Lymphoma, to be exact), and has done so in a very powerful way.