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.

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