BioFoundry brings biohacking to Sydney

biofoundryBioFoundry is Australia’s first community lab space for citizen scientists.

There are a number of similar ventures in other cities around the World. Here’s what Wikipedia says about biohacking: “Biohacking is the practice of engaging biology with the hacker ethic. Biohacking encompasses a wide spectrum of practices and movements ranging from ‘Grinders’ who design and install do-it-yourself body-enhancements such as magnetic implants to do-it-yourself biologists who conduct at-home gene sequencing.”

BioFoundry have recently signed the lease on a space at the Nauti Studios in Stanmore and will be fully equipped as a PC1 level lab. I met briefly with some of the people behind BioFoundry at the MiniMaker Faire earlier this year. They were wonderfully enthusiastic and bursting with the potential that a community lab space would bring to Sydney.

We are hugely excited and want you to come help co-create Australia’s first open lab. We will be running a number of experiments and workshops from here.

I have to say that the idea of a fully equipped lab space available for biomedical hacking is slightly scary for those brought up on early horror movies – but once I got my inner demons under control I realised it’s very cool and probably a good lead-indicator of the direction that the world is moving in. For example there’re some people making a 3D printer that works with bacteria and orange juice who are working out of London’s biohackspace.

It’s worth noting for the non-scientists amongst us that a PC1 level lab deals with microorganisms where the hazard levels are low. So nightmares of The Fly are unlikely to come to fruition; in fact the offocial opening will, in time-honoured fashion, showcase beer brewing.

The lab will be officially opened this Saturday and they’ll be showcasing beer brewing, aquaponics and crystallisation projects. 2014 BIOMOD champion Team EchiDNA and IGEM teams will also be presenting on the night.

BioFoundry is at Level 2/ 152 Parramatta Road, Stanmore. They do have a website, but there’s more useful information on their Facebook page.

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