Source: Straits Times, 13 June 2009
By Andy Ho, Senior Writer
SCIENTIFICALLY inclined youngsters are setting up do-it- yourself biology laboratories at home. Likened to self-trained computer hackers, these enthusiasts – self-styled biohackers – browse online catalogues of DNA parts and order them from small commercial labs. With self-modified household items and used equipment acquired online, they try to tweak bacteria or synthesise novel organisms in their free time.
I recently met a fresh graduate from a US university who, on returning home, wanted to find just such an interest group here. But first, he had to ask his supplier in the United States if it would ship some oligomers (DNA parts) to him. The lab promptly replied in the positive and asked just ‘how many nanomoles or micromoles’ he needed. All he needed to do was provide a shipping address and pay online by credit card.