Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Biology versus Bioterrorism (Biotechnology and Society 2016)
- Jorgensen Ellen Jorgensen TED Talk "Biohacking -- you can do it, too." 10 min. Intro to DIY biology by co-founder of GenSpace.
- Jefferson C, Lentzos F, Marris C (2014) Synthetic biology and biosecurity: challenging the “myths”. Front. Public Health. 2:115. PMID: 25191649
1. DIY/Biohacking Czar
- What types of projects do most citizen scientists pursue at BioMaker spaces? What types of training and equipment are available?
- Prominent BioMaker spaces: GenSpace (NYC) | BioCurious (Bay Area)
- Kelty CM. (2010) Outlaw, hackers, victorian amateurs: diagnosing public participation in the life sciences today. J. Sci. Comm. 9:1-8. Available online here. Contains several examples of citizen scientist projects.
- Search for new citizen scientist or DIY biology projects on sites like: Experiment.com and Indigogo.com. Here are some to get you started: Bento lab and DIY CRISPR
- What is the relationship between some example projects and potential bioterrorism/biosecurity threats?
2. Glowing Plant Czar
- What is this project? What is the product and how will it be created?
- The project has been ongoing for several years now. What progress has been made? What hurdles remain to fully achieving the original goals?
- Describe how this project was ahead of current government regulations and Kickstarter's terms of service when it first started. How have both reacted to this project?
- Glowing Plants: Natural Lighting with no Electricity (Kickstarter)
- Glowing Plant website.
- Blog post about regulations covering Glowing Plants.
- Krichevsky A, Meyers B, Vainstein A, Maliga P, Citovsky V (2010) Autoluminescent plants. PLoS One 5:e15461. PMID: 21103397 Scientific paper covering how bioluminescent Nicotiana was created. (Similar to methods used by the "Glowing Plants" project.)
- Post on "Crowd Funding Avatar" (Splasho) // Detailed blog post putting the Kickstarter project's science and role in DIY biology in context.
3. Bioterrorism Czar
- What are the biggest historical examples of bioterrorism . Choose 2-3 to research in more detail (excluding the Anthrax attacks).
- What are the biggest current concerns of the biosecurity community? Who are the most likely and least likely perpetrators? What is the risk?
- What types of responses is the U.S. prepared for if a bioterrorism incident occurs?
- Riedel S (2004) Biological warfare and bioterrorism: a historical review. Proc. Baylor Univ. Med. Cent. 17:400–406. PMID: 16200127 // General review of history of biowarfare and bioterrorism.
- TDSHS History of Bioterrorism (Texas Department of State Health Services) // In-depth history and timelines that are useful for thinking about historical examples to highlight.
4. Anthrax Case Czar
- Describe the history of Anthrax as a bioterrorism agent.
- Give a timeline of the Anthrax case and put it in historical context.
- What is the evidence that Bruce Ivins was the source of the Anthrax letters?
- American Anthrax Investigation Documents (FBI) // Report on the anthrax case where letters containing spores were sent to government officials after 9/11/2001.
- Related articles at NYT These include more recent examples of incorrect Anthrax shipments. They include a Slide Show related to the Anthrax case timeline