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Responsible science for do-it-yourself biologists

WASHINGTON, DC: Remember chemistry sets, ham radio, amateur astronomy, and early computing? Well, now it is biology's turn. Today, over 2,000 people from around the world belong to the Do-It-Yourself Biology (DIYbio) community, working on everything from microbial fuel cells, low-cost lab equipment, environmental surveillance, personal bio-monitoring, to new treatments for diseases.

The Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center is partnering with, on a project to ensure safety within the rapidly expanding community of amateur biologists. The project is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and will seek to promote innovation and education within the DIYbio community while ensuring safe science.

"The DIYbio community is positioned better than any other organization to develop a positive culture around citizen science and to 'set the pattern' for best practices worldwide by establishing a code of ethics, developing norms for safety, and creating shared resources for amateur biologists," Said Jason Bobe, co-founder of

The project will identify relevant biosafety guidance and work with members to distill that information into user-friendly guidelines. In addition, basic codes of conduct will be developed, discussed, and disseminated in the community. "The goal is to grow a safety culture from within the DIYbio community though information sharing, discussion, and mentoring," said David Rejeski, Director of the Synthetic Biology Project at the Wilson Center.


Contact: Todd Kuiken
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

Page: 1

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