Navigation Links
First-ever survey of Do-It-Yourself Biology community challenges myths

WASHINGTONAs the Do-It-Yourself Biology (DIYbio) community has grown, so have concerns among media and policymakers about these science enthusiasts' ability to wield DNA and manipulate life.

In 2009, for example, a Wall Street Journal headline summed up the popular misconception: "In Attics and Closets, 'Biohackers' Discover their Inner Frankenstein."

But in a first-ever survey of DIYbio practitioners (DIYers), the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars finds the community to be far different from these fearful and often sensationalist representations. A report released today, "Seven Myths and Realities about Do-It-Yourself Biology," analyzes the survey results and challenges seven widely held beliefs about DIYbio practitioners, particularly about their labs, capabilities and goals.

"The data suggests that almost all of the well-known tropes about the dangers of DIYbio and citizen science are untrue," says Daniel Grushkin, a co-author of the report and a fellow at the Wilson Center. "It's time for policymakers to consider how grassroots science movements like DIYbio can serve the greater good by fostering entrepreneurship and excitement about science literacy."

Among other conclusions, the survey finds that the number of DIYers has almost doubled in the last year and that the science they practice is far more benign than described in the popular press. The report suggests that the DIYbio community offers national education and entrepreneurship opportunities, rather than over-inflated risks.

And while it has largely been assumed that DIYers work anonymously and alone in basements and garages, the survey finds that 92 percent of DIYers work in group spaces. Of these, the majority work in community labs, which can provide biotechnology training and education for local neighborhoods.

The report concludes with six policy recommendations based on the survey results, including calls for government support for community labs, increased interaction between independent labs and federal agencies, and collaboration with educational institutions and corporations.


Contact: Aaron Lovell
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars/Science and Technology Innovation Program

Related biology news :

1. First-ever therapeutic offers hope for improving blood transfusions
2. First-ever 3-D stress map of developing embryonic heart sheds light on why defects form
3. Professor publishes on first-ever imaging of cells growing on spherical surfaces
4. China poised to accept first-ever non-animal test method for cosmetics
5. First-ever release of endangered burying beetles in Missouri
6. Scientists complete first-ever emperor penguin count from space
7. Survey highlights barriers to interdisciplinary environmental science
8. Survey of physicians suggests tablets more useful than smartphones
9. National survey highlights perceived importance of dietary protein to prevent weight gain
10. NREL survey shows dramatic improvement in B100 biodiesel quality
11. New bone survey method could aid long-term survival of Arctic caribou
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/19/2015)... 2015  Although some 350 companies are actively involved ... few companies, according to Kalorama Information. These include Roche Diagnostics, ... market share of the 6.1 billion-dollar molecular testing market, ... for Molecular Diagnostic s .    ... controlled by one company and only a handful of ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... LIVERMORE, Calif. , Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant ... has joined its Board of Directors. ... Vigilant,s Board after recently retiring from the partnership at ... owning 107 companies with over $140 Billion in revenue.  ... performance improvement across all the TPG companies, from 1997 ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 11, 2015   Growing need for ... tools has been paving the way for use ... of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food ... predominantly used in medical applications, however, their adoption ... due to continuous emphasis on improving product quality ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 25, ... ... leading microbial genomics company uBiome, were featured on AngelList early in their initial ... by launching an AngelList syndicate for individuals looking to make early stage investments ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ... at the following conference, and invited investors to participate ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Worcester, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... need to maintain healthy metabolism. But unless it is bound to proteins, copper ... Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)...  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services ... that the company has set a new quarterly earnings record in ... growth posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... , with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific ... United Kingdom and Mexico , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: