Do It Yourself Laboratories Offer Synthetic Biological Material in Exchange for Funding

Currently, Do It Yourself (DIY) laboratories exist in over thirty locations worldwide.  In 2010 there were only two such labs. The labs attract citizen scientists, who pay membership dues in order to collaborate on projects; the dues help to pay for laboratory equipment. The purported goal driving the creation of these labs is to make science less intimidating and more accessible. The labs aim to encourage learning.

Recently, the DIY lab, BioCurious, undertook a project to invent glowing seeds using synthetic biology. The project required additional funding in order to proceed. BioCurious took action and publicly offered the seeds (should they be developed) to anyone who funded the project. Some have considered BioCurious’ offering as a move towards the democratization of biology. Others criticize BioCurious’ tactics, citing potential unintended consequences to the worlds’ ecosystems if these synthetic materials are released indiscriminately.

Read more here.

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