Volume 56 of Make Magazine recently hit the bookshelves here in Bangkok. The theme was biohacking and the powerful way technology and more importantly, collaboration is transforming the way we research, develop, and devise ways to improve our understanding of biology and how to apply it both for agriculture and human health.
Also in this issue was an article written by Jose Gomez-Marquez who is co-founder of the MakerHealth and Maker Nurse projects. In his article he shares:
Over time, industry slowly black-boxed our medical technologies and discouraged makers from participating - but they never went away. Today, life science and health makers form networks like MakerHealth and DIY bio communities. They fuel open protocols and cheap instrumentation.He then shares some advice on how you can get started:
Need a place to begin? Start with a teardown and remake what you see at the doctor's office.Jose captures precisely both the motivation that drives our projects, as well as the process we've gone about pursuing them.
The 3D printed centrifuge is just a starting point, and we shared it online for everyone to see and build themselves not only so they can make copies of it, but to also improve upon it or even use it as inspiration to tackle other pieces of essential laboratory equipment.
Making Things That Matter
The article as well as Make Magazine's Mike Sense's opening message are well worth reading. A common complaint many outside the maker community often air is that many projects have little practical value. This issue of Make is full of projects made from across the maker community that prove there is practicality and even paradigm-shifting potential within this movement.
And in reality, a lot of the "playing" makers do leaves a trail of tutorials and resources others can use to make more serious projects. Drone tutorials allowed us to use a drone motor to spin our centrifuge. The cheap electronics and opensource 3D printing tools used to print out toys and light displays allowed us to control the drone motor and build a functional and safe housing for the centrifuge.
So when looking at the maker community, diversity is particularly important. What may not appeal to you or seem useful, may have an indirect benefit to exactly what it is that does appeal to you.
It's an exciting time to do-it-yourself and to do-it-collaboratively. Things are starting to add up and change the way we live, work, and look at the world. It's also an exciting time to get involved if you aren't already. No matter what your interest is or what you think your skill level is at, get together with like-minded people and start adding your contribution today.
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