Open Source Biology

Open Source Biology

The reason we all love open source is because it represents freedom and collaboration to us. It's a way of moving humanity forward by pooling together talent, effort, time and love to create spectacular things as a community. Today there is another community trying to embrace the same principles to accelerate technology and bring it to everyone for the first time in the history of our species. That community is the DIYbio community. Let's understand them and help out.


Ujjwal Thaakar

March 14, 2015


  1. Open Source Biology The diybio movement and what it means

    to you and me
  2. whoami • Ujjwal Thaakar • 22 years old • GSoC

    for Ruby on Rails 2013 & 14 • Synthetic Biology enthusiast • Github: @ujjwalt | Twitter: @ujjwal_thaakar
  3. The biotech culture • Pretty much opposite to ours •

    Biotech is slow, closed and mostly proprietary • Scientists used to deal with it as observations and protocols
  4. The diybio revolution • Biology is being increasingly understood as

    some sort of a software • Software that can produce it’s own hardware • This has brought a new mindset to biotech
  5. Free and Open source biology • More & more scientists

    are releasing their findings like genes and proteins for free • People are developing open source alternatives to proprietary biology software and hardware • Biologists are seeing the value and adopting
  6. What’s happening right now • Open PCR Machine • Glowing

    Plant • Genome compiler • Cheap but effective hand made incubators
  7. Open PCR Machine • ±0.5°C of the target temperature •

    Small size and just $649. Otherwise $4k-10k. 2-2.7k for realtime which costs $30k • IKEA like build instructions • Free and Open source software
  8. Glowing Plant • A plant that glows! • But why?

    • Trees to light streets at night! • Maker kit to modify and germinate the Arabidopsis seeds for $300
  9. Genome compiler • Web based software to design DNA and

    get it synthesised • Genetic repositories • Github for genes with an IDE • Working towards a programming platform for life
  10. Effective homemade incubators • MIT Media Labs India Workshop 2015

    • I was a part of the synthetic biology track • Our incubator, purchased from the US and worth $80 sucked! Couldn’t maintain the temperature in our class room • We built one using just styrofoam and cardboard • It did better! Might be a Case Study
  11. What can you do? • Biology is becoming more and

    more open and they are taking cue from us • Show them the path. Contribute to biological software. • Help them understand the open source culture better and it’s benefits • Join
  12. Thank you Happy Hacking