~ Autumnal Activities ~

Autumn 2014 has been a very nice period for the DIYbio Groningen community. We ran a number of workshops and we have been carrying out several projects at DJO (de Jonge Onderzoekers, Groningen). One of these is the

Mealworm Project

that we initiated specially for kids and nature lovers who can follow the mealworm life cycle in real-time. The primary goal of the project is to see if we can maintain a colony and harvest mealworms to experiment with entomophagy– a fancy word for bug-eating. The beetles will also be used by two students doing experiments on the learning behaviour of insect as part of their profielwerkstuk. (Think: conditioning with electroshock!) 

combined_mw_

A small mealworm nursery was created together with DJO participants and should do a good job at giving us some hands on experience with these critters. We started out with 1 kg of live mealworms, many have already transformed into pupae and beetles- lets see if we can keep a colony going.

Participants have already done some experiments to see if the bugs are cannibalistic (they are..) and there are some very good ideas as to how to make them taste less bitter.

After some more testing we will release our secret recipe!

Strawberry DNA – Extract it Yourself!

A few weeks ago, we organized another workshop for DJO visitors called ‘Strawberry DNA – Extract it Yourself”. Participants of different ages learned some basics about DNA and they performed simple experiments on the DNA extraction using only some household chemicals. It turned out to be an active and colourful evening.

Strawberry DNA ExtractionIf you would like to extract DNA from strawberries at home, take some salt and soap, mix it with the fresh strawberry juice following this simple protocol and the DNA is all yours! 🙂

World of Technology and Science

Finally, for a whole week at the end of September, DIYbio Groningen participated in the World of Technology and Science exhibition at the jaarbeurs in Utrecht. This exhibition was an opportunity for many companies involved in laboratory hardware, electronics and automation to showcase their products. It was great to see the latest innovation of lab hardware but also fun to explain to people that some of these machines can be built at a tenth of the price.

Together with other Dutch DIYbio groups we presented some examples of open-source laboratory hardware developed by groups from around the world:

World of Technology & Science 2014

Used sources and materials:

http://www.imb.uq.edu.au/download/large/strawberryDNAextraction.pdf

http://www.scientificamerican.com/sciam/cache/file/1F5692BC-66BF-405D-B1502728800D50E5.jpg

 

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