Cambridge website for Synthetic Biology resources

Compiled by Jim Haseloff at the University of Cambridge. SpannerPlantLogo140This site contains details of recent papers and activity in Synthetic Biology, with particular emphasis on: (i) development of standards in biology and DNA parts, (ii) microbial and (iii) plant systems, (iv) research and teaching in the field at the University of Cambridge, (v) hardware for scientific computing and instrumentation, (vi) tools for scientific productivity and collected miscellany.

Similar to the Cambridge-based Raspberry Pi and OpenLabTools initiatives, we promote the use of low cost and open source tools - in our case for use in biological engineering.

Google: Synthetic Biology news

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Meetings: Synthetic Biology

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Weather: Cambridge

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DIYbio NYC on the BioBus

DIYbio NYC on the BioBus: "


This past weekend, the World Maker Faire in NYC had a wide range of makers showcasing a variety of projects and skills. Front and center was the New York chapter of DIYbio, a scientific outreach group of local citizen scientists, and the BioBus, a mobile microscopy lab built on a 1972 transit bus. For the event, DIYbio and the BioBus teamed up to build NYC's first-ever fully mobile molecular biology lab.

The bus was a flurry of activity from both parties, inside and out. The simpler and faster activities on the outside included 'making' DNA from strawberries using only household reagents (salt, soap, meat tenderizer, and alcohol) as well as visualizing small planktonic crustaceans, called Daphnia, through one of the BioBus's microscopes with a flat panel display.

Inside the bus, things got a little more intimate. Instead of extracting DNA from berries and visualizing crustaceans, participants got to work with cells from their very own cheeks. They could see them up close and personal with a BioBus scope as well as extract and test their own DNA for a gene responsible for tasting a bitter chemical called PTC. Because molecular biology work takes a bit longer than anyone wanted to stick around, with all the other awesome things happening at the Faire, the DIYbio crew finished analyzing the samples and later emailed participants with the results. After exhausting their reagents, the group was able to teach three dozen people how to test their own samples as well as the hundreds that were extracting DNA outside. DIYbio and the BioBus even won a MAKE magazine Editors' Choice award for their efforts!

This same group, brought together through DIYbio, created GenSpace - a member-based lab in Brooklyn, NY. Each member has pet interests they pursue in the space while collectively working on scientific outreach and education projects that benefit the group (such as DIY DNA extractions at farmers markets and Maker Faire). 

In attendance at Maker Faire was the entire GenSpace crew:

 Russell Durrett, Team Leader for 2010 NYU iGEM Team (and research assistant in the Piano Lab @ NYU in a more professional capacity)
, Ellen Jorgensen, PhD - Adjunct Faculty at New York Medical College, 
Daniel Grushkin - Independent journalist for such editorials as National Geographic and The Scientist, 
Nurit Bar-Shai, and Sung won Lim.

For more info, check out the DIYbio NYC Blog and the GenSpace website.

Bio: Eri Gentry is a biotech entrepreneur, citizen science community organizer, and the co-founder of BioCurious, the first hackerspace for biotech, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

(Via MAKE Magazine.)

Research news at Cambridge University

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Online resources, including bibliography, weblinks and posters, for work with the simple plant system, Marchantia polymorpha.

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OpenLabTools: open technology in Cambridge


The OpenLabTools Project is a new initiative for the development of low cost and open access scientific tools at the University of Cambridge. With support from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, student projects include data acquisition, sensing, actuating, processing and 3D manufacturing, see the website.

Research Studies

PhD Studentships in Cambridge

The Board of Graduate Studies manages admission of the University's graduate students. Prospective students should start here - for an introduction to the University of Cambridge, the courses we offer, how to apply for postgraduate study, how your application will be processed, and immigration and other important information.

Click here for more information about Cambridge