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What happened at the last meeting? April 18, 2012

Posted by codersquid in Meetings.

I missed the meeting, but Jenny took minutes

Open Science Minutes 4/15/2012, start time: 3:45 PM

Anthony is moderating.

Introductions of newcomers & what they’re interested in-trae (advertising, genetic engineering) & greg (Northwestern-biomedical engineer, DNA protein simulation)

Present: Greg, Dillon, Trae, Ben, Anthony, Jenny

Topic: new space, with possible new lab space!

Anthony asks: what kind of laboratory do you want, and how can this come about?

-class n clean room, or mud room needed for entering space?
-Ben says Sacha will direct building of lab (primarily chemhacking/biohacking)
-what level of clean room is necessary (will be class 100)? Filtered ventilation system? Refrigeration units? Eye wash and shower?
-DIY bio discussion—what level of difficulty of biohacking? Professional vs. hobbyist (yogurt for example)
-Anthony mentions Steve’s proposed experiment? Greg brings up mail order DNA sequences
-Anthony: mail order catalogues, emails of biologists? Greg: used PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machine is relatively affordable

What is a PCR machine? Greg explains: PCR is used by biologist to amplify the amount of some DNA, hugely important in genetic engineering developments
-relevant website: journal called JOVE, Journal of Visualized Experiments—peer reviewed, but post protocol of experiment online; ex, make cartridges of running gels

-Anthony: need glassware, hot plate, place to store toxic chemicals
Greg: need someone with expertise in waste chemicals—see Sacha?
-Anthony: collectively need disposal of chemicals mechanism
-Trae: difficulty in getting certain chemicals, certain people are only interested in getting chemicals? Anthony: possible legal issues with safety, need acid shower & eyewash

Topic: Funding of laboratory

Ben: Sacha can get adequate funding from PS1 for much of it (we also can fundraise and beg)
Trae: we need pricing

Itemized wishlist:
carefully considered countertops
a sink + filter
hot place
basic fridge for chemicals
basic chemical cabinet
clean room of some type + air filtration
optical microscope with camera
safety equipment: chem shower, eye wash bottle, chem gloves & apron, goggles
mail order catalogs
attention to the servers
tables, stools

Greg brings up fluorescence microscopy, Anthony: camera + microscope=publishing

-deionized water? Prices important!

Ben: DIYbio lists have lots of suggestions for techniques to save money; Biocurious said lots of equipment was given to them by labs or at discount from manufacturers who lacked customers, recession

Anthony: university labs might have microscopes for free

Trae: tried getting anti vibration table from northwestern? Had reqs for giving away equipment: had to go to someone who worked there, or at the very least a student

-Greg is postdoc at Northwestern, Anthony has contacts at Uchicago

-unis should have listings that we should keep tabs on

-flea markets??? need to find places with cheap or preferably free stuff

-Anthony: wants to do fluid dynamics experiments, asks about electricity in lab space, suggests worktables

-having a computing cluster & servers that people can have access too—will facilitate program, but not space; computational work possibly? Astronomy simulations ex

Ben: michael cho mentioned laser experiments

Topic: Projects!

Ben: at Biocurious, one of the members is doing anti-aging research on cancer cells, affiliated with SENS (strategies for engineering negligible senescence)

-second project, renewable energy, Sacha was involved with that kind of R&D for a while, car that ran on oil from restaurants all across the country

Greg: cell lines you can order in the mail, HELA cells??? (need clarification)

-can start your own culture

-Greg: interested in viruses that infect bacteria, bacteriophages! (can get mail order)

-Ben: Jim Lund seems to know about biology

Topic: Agenda topics, Open Badges & Educational outreach

-tabling some things Sheila wanted to talk about, but Anthony opening up topics

Trae asks: what’s Open Badges?

-Anthony explains educational discussion at last meeting

-proposal: turning PS1 into agency of badge issuing

Interrupting here to link to Badges – Less Yack, More Hack. Did Chris show up to the last general PS1 meeting to discuss this? I missed that meeting too.

-Ben: need to manage lab, Anthony: PS1 has structures in place

-previous discussion asked about educational outreach

-concept is something like Open University, need camera equipment (Carl!)

Greg: excited about open biology movement, & open science because it avoids bureaucracy & bullcrap about having degrees–> degrees don’t tell people the truth of what you’re capable of

-need certification, need record keeping of what people are doing in the lab (blog)

-Homeland Security & law enforcement take an interest in DYI-biolabs because of possible links to bioterrorism

Greg: GENspace (NYC) reached out to law enforcement first & things worked out

-tabling open science conference Sheila wanted to bring up

-Sheila had interest in EEG cap? Not sure how to implement, Anthony mentioned videogame

I had read about Open EEG and constructing it is beyond my skills. Sounds like Anthony was thinking of the various kits out there from NeuroSky et al, see How to Hack Toy EEGs for example. The toys are dissappointing because they don’t have as many electrodes as I was hoping.

-conclusion: not much interest in educational outreach right now, we can figure it out as we go along

Topic: Open Science Blog

-could be used for note-taking of experiments & projects later when we have a laboratory

-right now, inactive, Sacha has admins

Topic: Journal Club-Open Science can give presentations on some topic of interest

-should involve pizza

-can be informal talk on anything science-y

Greg brings up experiment: making yeast evolve into multicellular creatures; need a centrifuge, & ability to grow yeast

Talks Planned for Next Time:

Anthony: physics of spectroscopy for biologists & chemists
Greg: yeast experiment

-next time: Trae brings up advertising, naming

After meeting:

1. Anthony presents on physics of Titantic: Did Rose kill Jack?

-evaporative cooling, thermal conductivity, air vs water

2. Anthony presents on fusion: curve of nuclear binding energy, deuterium & tritium are focus of fusion projects

-need to overcome the potential barrier needs ultra high temp & pressures
-plasma: fully ionized gas; responds to em fields; z pinch trick to contain vs magnetized target fusion



1. Anthony Barker - August 27, 2012

Topic: Microscope
Hi All,
There’s a high quality microscope on amazon (link) for $250 that normally would cost $1300. It has 2000x magnification, a usb camera, and a precisely adjustable mechanical stage. For an up-right microscope this looks ideal. It has every feature we would want–it’s really powerful, it has a camera, and it’s affordable. (This is definitely more powerful and higher quality than the microscopes at American Science and Surplus, for a similar price).

Gary expressed an interest in an inverted microscope. I would suggest this one. It’s also sharply discounted from $4000 down to $185. It’s not as powerful: 640x max, but would allow us to look at a different kind of sample than the upright would. It also has a camera and a precisely movable stage.

Please do some looking around and see if you can find something you like more, especially in the way of inverted microscopes. I’d like to see one we can afford that is a lot more powerful than 640x.
If we can agree on a microscope we like, I would like to take up a kickstarter collection to buy it. I would personally be willing to contribute $100 to either of these.
–Anthony Barker

P.S. There are also these:
This one is similar with a nice trinocular optics system, $290. It seems to not include a camera though, so add $50 to that. I think this is my favorite.

codersquid - August 27, 2012

This would probably be a good blog post rather than a comment. Want to make a blog post out of it?

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