Will DIY Biohacking Revolutionize Medicine?

Entrepreneurs in the biotech industry say innovation is budding, just like the personal computer 30 years ago. They've set up shop in Silicon Valley so can history repeat itself?

What's the Latest Development?


Silicon Valley is famous for inspiring computing innovation, so can it inspire a budding generation of biohackers, too? The most recent outpost for biotech entrepreneurs is in Sunnyvale, where scientists and business hopefuls congregate at BioCurious, a community lab that conducts biology experiments and innovates on everything from bacteria to thermal cyclers. So far, the non-profit lab has attracted about 30 members who are willing to pay $100 a month for use of the facility and its equipment.

What's the Big Idea?

George Church, a genetics professor at Harvard Medical School, compares the makeshift lab to the garage where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak developed what would become the first Macintosh computer and eventually Apple Inc. "BioCurious arrives amid a wave of new hacker spaces for computer programmers, such as Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, and a flood of tech start-up incubators such as Y Combinator." After launching with $35,000 in donations and using donated medical equipment, BioCurious' 30 paying members allow it to nearly break even.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
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  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
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Supreme Court to hear 3 cases on LGBT workplace discrimination

In most states, LGBTQ Americans have no legal protections against discrimination in the workplace.

(Photo by Andres Pantoja/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The Supreme Court will decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also applies to gay and transgender people.
  • The court, which currently has a probable conservative majority, will likely decide on the cases in 2020.
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Scientists discover how to trap mysterious dark matter

A new method promises to capture an elusive dark world particle.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) devised a method for trapping dark matter particles.
  • Dark matter is estimated to take up 26.8% of all matter in the Universe.
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Afghanistan is the most depressed country on Earth

No, depression is not just a type of "affluenza" — poor people in conflict zones are more likely candidates

Image: Our World in Data / CC BY
Strange Maps
  • Often seen as typical of rich societies, depression is actually more prevalent in poor, conflict-ridden countries
  • More than one in five Afghans is clinically depressed – a sad world record
  • But are North Koreans really the world's 'fourth least depressed' people?
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