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How DIY Biohacking May Revolutionize Medicine and Business

Biology labs are now inexpensive and mobile enough to be set up in a garage. The kind of genetic tinkering occurring across the nation mirrors the experiments in computing a generation earlier. 

What's the Latest Development?


Do-it-yourself biology labs, which cost relatively nothing to start and can be housed in a garage, may usher in the next generation of medical treatments and entrepreneurship. Forward-thinkers from Bill Gates to MIT and the FBI are recognizing the groundbreaking potential of biohacking, or creating artificial life with DNA synthesis. Already, thanks to a competition sponsored by MIT, high school and college students have created a designer vaccine against the bug that causes most ulcers and turned bacterial cells into hemoglobin-producing blood substitutes. 

What's the Big Idea?

Cloning and sequencing a gene once took three years, and in the process you earned a PhD. Today, the same process takes less than three days. "Machines for amplifying DNA can now be purchased online, whilst enzymes and chemicals for creating, manipulating and sticking together DNA can be ordered off the shelf. The cost of sequencing DNA has plummeted, from about $100,000 for reading a million letters, or base pairs, of DNA code in 2001, to around 10 cents today." Those familiar with the biohacking movement say genetic tinkering is most similar to the computer tinkering which gave rise to the computing industry. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

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Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

Credit: Neom
Technology & Innovation
  • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
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Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

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  • "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
  • Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.

COVID-19 brain study to explore long-term effects of the virus

A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.

Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.

Coronavirus
  • The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation

Better reskilling can future-proof jobs in the age of automation. Enter SkillUp's new coalition.

Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.

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