This little gadget moves tiny drops of liquid around on a matrix

OpenDrop is a ~$800 microfluidics platform from GaudiLabs. It can be used to programmatically move droplets of liquid around a matrix. When I saw the video, I thought it was an LCD display, but it's real liquid being moved around.

Potential applications are lab on a chip devices for automating processes of digital biology. However the present design should also open the technology to other field and allow experimentation to find new applications. Including the field of art, music, games and education.

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Biohacker Aaron Traywick found dead in flotation tank at age 28

Biohacker Aaron Traywick, who self-experimented with unregulated medical products in front of live audiences, was found dead in a flotation tank at a spa in Washington, DC on Sunday.

The 28-year-old CEO of Ascendance Biomedical was known for promoting self-medicating and used himself as a guinea pig at public events. For instance, Traywick, who had herpes, appeared before an audience earlier this year and took off his pants so that he could be the first to inject himself with an unregulated medication his company created to combat herpes and AIDS (watch video below).

According to BBC:

Traywick, who had herpes, had performed a stunt at the event, apparently injecting his company's unregulated product into his leg.

On stage, he had referred to the product as a "research compound".

But in conversation with the BBC he described it as a "treatment" - a claim that had the potential to attract the attention of the US Food and Drug Administration...

When questioned whether it was ethical to encourage sick people to effectively act as guinea pigs, Traywick responded: "The best we can do is we can say to these people, 'We know you don't have access to this medication.'

"They don't have any other options.

"All we know is that if it works they don't die."

The cause of his death hasn't yet been disclosed.

For the full video click here. Read the rest

You can hijack a gene sequencer by hiding malware in a DNA sample

Today at the Usenix Security conference, a group of University of Washington researchers will present a paper showing how they wrote a piece of malware that attacks common gene-sequencing devices and encoded it into a strand of DNA: gene sequencers that read the malware are corrupted by it, giving control to the attackers. Read the rest

Revealing the cover and first excerpt of Autonomous, Annalee Newitz's long-awaited debut novel

We've followed Annalee Newitz's career here for more than a decade, from her science writing fellowship to her work as an EFF staffer to her founding of IO9 and her move to Ars Technica and the 2013 publication of her first book, nonfiction guidance on surviving the end of the world and rebooting civilization: now, I'm pleased to present an exclusive excerpt from Autonomous, her debut novel, which Tor will publish in September 2017, along with the first look at her cover, designed by the incomparable Will Staehle. As her editor, Liz Gorinsky, notes, "Autonomous takes an action-packed chase narrative and adds Annalee's well-honed insight into issues of AI autonomy, pharmaceutical piracy, and maker culture to make a book that's accessible, entertaining, and ridiculously smart." I'm three quarters of the way through an early copy, and I heartily agree.

Artist in residence sought for Bioprocess Labratory in Zurich

Are you an "artist, designer, biohacker, or other cultural practitioner" who's interested in synthetic biology? You could spend 4-6 weeks in Zurich at the Bioprocess Laboratory, where you will "actively engage with scientists working on a synthetic biology related project with focus on the design of antibiotics." Read the rest

Biohacking for Newbies: All You Ever Wanted to Know About Getting an NFC Chip Implant

Editor's note: The following is a first-person account of a personal experience, and should not be taken as medical advice or a recommendation of any kind. If you choose to pursue biohacking as a result of reading this article and something goes wrong, you are not allowed to blame us or the author.

A few months ago, on a last-minute whim of curiosity, I attended a biohacking gathering. When I departed L.A. for a random small town address in the Mojave desert, I did not know I would return 36 hours later with my hand wrapped in a bandage, having willingly undergone an unnecessary medical procedure in a wacky garage-turned-mad-science-lab with some guy I'd never met. I did not know I’d be grinning all the way home because I’d become one step closer to being a cyborg. Read the rest

Buttered coffee company gets $9 million to build coffee shops

Dave Asprey, the far-out biohacker and self-experimenter who skeptics love to hate, just got $9 million to build coffee shops that sell "Bulletproof Coffee," which is mold-free coffee blended with unsalted grass fed butter and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. I've had it before and the only thing I can say about it is that it is delicious.

Here's Asprey showing how to make Bulletproof Coffee.

Here's a video in which podcaster Joe Rogan, who used to be a fan of Dave Asprey, debunks Asprey's claims that mycotoxins in coffee are common and bad for you.

Joe Rogan exposes the lies of Dave Asprey the owner of Bulletproof Coffee about how he lied and said 70% of coffee is contaminated with mycotoxins without any evidence. Onnit labs tested random coffee including Starbucks, and the results showed they contained NO mycotoxins. Coffee growers have already known how to remove toxins from their beans decades ago.

Here is Kris Gunnars' takedown of Bulletproof Coffee.

And here is Chris Gayomali's article on what it was like to drink Bulletproof Coffee every morning for two weeks. Read the rest

Inject this substance in your eyes for night vision

A group of biohackers is injecting a substance called Chlorin e6 into their eyes to give them temporary night vision.

Did it work? Yes. It started with shapes, hung about 10 meters away. "I'm talking like the size of my hand," Licina says. Before long, they were able to do longer distances, recognizing symbols and identifying moving subjects against different backgrounds.

"The other test, we had people go stand in the woods," he says. "At 50 meters, we could figure out where they were, even if they were standing up against a tree." Each time, Licina had a 100% success rate. The control group, without being dosed with Ce6, only got them right a third of the time.

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Biohackers making "real vegan cheese"

The biohackers at BioCurious and Counter Culture Labs are seeking support in their effort to bioengineer baker's yeast to make Real Vegan Cheese!

Real Vegan Cheese is a not a cheese substitute! It all begins with regular old baker's yeast. Through synthetic biology, we engineer our yeast to become milk-protein factories, churning out real milk proteins (known as caseins). These milk proteins are then combined with water, vegan sugar and oil to make a kind of milk which is ultimately converted into Real Vegan Cheese using the age-old cheese-making process.

Real Vegan Cheese (Thanks, Eri Gentry!) Read the rest