# Who wants to be an amateur molecular biologist?

Staff Emeritus
It looks like the bio-hacker movement are a step closer to their dream as one man tries to make a home bio lab for $500. I've always been in two minds about DIY biology, I've had friends in the past that have always advocated that it will be easier in the future but I've remained sceptical. Now I'm not so sure. ## Answers and Replies Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Lab-on-chip technology is cool but whenever I've encountered people working on it the goal has been to speed up or improve lab work or provide bedside diagnostic equipment. What impresses me about this article is that someone has gone to the effort of getting a bunch of equipment and done it for a cheap price using resources available to the public. An issue he hasn't gotten around OS reagent cost but I suppose if people are that keen about their hobby they'll fork out. atyy Science Advisor So when's Andy Resnick going to give us DIY optical tweezers? Build your own by taking apart your CD player? It looks like the bio-hacker movement are a step closer to their dream as one man tries to make a home bio lab for$500.

I've always been in two minds about DIY biology, I've had friends in the past that have always advocated that it will be easier in the future but I've remained sceptical. Now I'm not so sure.

i really wish i could get into mit or stanford for this stuff. its amazing. i went to one of the igem events at mit in the past. def the coolest stuff out there now.

Andy Resnick
So when's Andy Resnick going to give us DIY optical tweezers?

Sorry for the delay- that joke about time existing to keep everything from happening at once is a *lie*.

Anyhow, Mara Prentiss (Harvard) developed a DIY tweezer for undergrad labs using opposing fibers- two fiber pigtailed diodes and no lens:

and rumor has it that someone figured out how to make an optical trap using light from an iPhone- I can't reveal my source on that one.

I bet you could make a trap using the optical head of a CD/DVD writer- the lens has a high enough NA and if the source is clean.... something to try over winter break :)

atyy
Sorry for the delay- that joke about time existing to keep everything from happening at once is a *lie*.
:rofl:

Anyhow, Mara Prentiss (Harvard) developed a DIY tweezer for undergrad labs using opposing fibers- two fiber pigtailed diodes and no lens:

and rumor has it that someone figured out how to make an optical trap using light from an iPhone- I can't reveal my source on that one.

I bet you could make a trap using the optical head of a CD/DVD writer- the lens has a high enough NA and if the source is clean.... something to try over winter break :)
Fascinating - thank you!

Have to say that the \$500 home lab is very impressive. I'm sure that the issue of reagent costs can be circumvented in some manner with enough time and ingenuity.

The avenue for DIYbio that really interests me is in developing low-cost products/methods for use in the developing world. It's there where I think the capability will really begin to make an impact on people's well-being.