All posts by alec_djinn

DIY microscopes… a new revolution has begun!

The design of the optical microscope has not changed since centuries... until now!
The design of the optical microscope has not changed since centuries… until now!

The first effective instruments in the field of optical microscopes, were produced in the Netherlands in the late sixteenth century, but the invention itself is still controversial. Galileo sent one of his building by Prince Federico Cesi, founder of the Lincei’s Academy, to show him its potential.
Among the first scientists to use, distribute and improve the use of this powerful tool, since the seventeenth century, is reminiscent of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and Robert Hooke.

 

 

 

Continue reading DIY microscopes… a new revolution has begun!

Mini-mini maker faire in Beneden-Leeuwen

The year 2014 started great! Last Saturday, the 18th of January, DIYbio Groningen participated in a maker faire event in  Beneden-Leeuwen, a delicious town in the south of Netherlands, not far from Nijmegen and located between the rivers  Waal and Maas. The aim of the event was to bring together artists, makers and enthusiasts to stimulate creativity and new curiosity. It was a success! Continue reading Mini-mini maker faire in Beneden-Leeuwen

DIYbio Groningen at the Mini Maker Faire 2013

The OpenPCR at the Groningen MakerFaire
The OpenPCR at the Groningen Maker Faire

The 12th of October 2013 DIYbio Groningen participated at the local Mini Maker Faire with the PCR workshop. This workshop aimed to show to the citizens the PCR machine at work, spread knowledge and awareness about DNA technology. Enthusiasts from DIYbio Groningen together with  Pieter van Boheemen from Amsterdam’s Waag society presented the OpenPCR machine and involved people to make DNA experiment.

 

 

 

Who is the father?

Comparing the DNA bands of parents and children you can distinguish the family relationship
Comparing the DNA bands of parents and children you can distinguish the family relationship

People loved to see the PCR machine running – most of them saw the DNA amplification for the very fist time in real life. Children participated and some parents were curious to find out the DNA linkage with their kids. We tackled this task and succeeded to show the family relations via the DNA fingerprint test. In short, we amplified the so-called “cheeks DNA” of twelve participants with the primers specific for the D1S80 locus – one of many DNA locus used for DNA profiling. Despite the fact that just before sampling people were drinking coffee and having their sandwiches,

DNA of all twelve participants showed distinguishable patterns!

DNA fingerprints of participants 1-6
DNA fingerprints of participants 1-6

Moreover, all families could see the DNA similarities between parents and kids. FAMILY 1: Participants 1, 2, 4 who shared DNA band of 600 bp (base pairs) (pink marks). FAMILY 2: Participants 5, 6, 7 who shared DNA bands at 500 bp (green marks), 600 bp (orange marks), 700 bp (red marks). The first and the last lines with many bands are standards of DNA with know lengths which are used to estimate the length of the tested DNA fragments (from 50 to 1350 base pairs – see the reference at the left, note that the reference is shifted).

DNA fingerprints of participants 7-12
DNA fingerprints of participants 7-12

Many people agreed that PCR technology should be available to the whole community from families to the high school children. They liked the idea of having a PCR machine at home to play with DNA. The same evening we got emailed by several new friends.

 

 

More workshops will follow soon

 

To learn more about DNA amplification visit the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KoLnIwoZKU

The protocol we used:
http://www.babec.org/files/2011_PCR/D1S80_Student_Guide_Fall_2011.pdf

 

Groningen Mini Makerfaire 2013

Some examples of participants’ DNA fingerprints
Some examples of participants’ DNA fingerprints

DIYbio Groningen’s first workshop was at the local Makerfaire.  We showcased our OpenPCR clone, explained our mission and how PCR works. By rinsing their mouth with saline, putting this in a PCR machine and then running a gel of the amplified DNA, participants could use a PCR to get their very own DNA fingerprint. Several of our own member were joined by Pieter van Boheemen, who also brought along the Waag society’s ‘official’ OpenPCR machine.

 

Alec, one of our members, gave a ‘maker talk’ about the virtues of open source design and the benefits of having access to PCR. The slides to this talk can be found here.

How does one start a DIYbio group?

In June earlier this year a small group of people left Groningen headed to Amsterdam for the opening ceremony of the Waag Society’s wetlab.

We went there with a question:  

How does one start a DIYbio group?

Petri dishes at the Waag society in Amsterdam
Petri dishes at the Waag society in Amsterdam

The ceremony was very interesting, and was followed  by a weekend long European DIYbio meetup and workshops. We got to talk to Pieter van Boheemen who was instrumental in setting up the Open WetLab at the Waag society. His advice? Get started!

And so we did…

 

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