Bill Gates thinks that robots are at the equivalent stage that computers were when he and Paul Allen and a ton of hobbyists helped fuel the PC revolution. But is he right? Here is a radical proposal: might not bioengineering be the next field where amateurs have a huge impact? Such is the hypothesis of DIYbio which had its first meeting in Cambridge, MA on May 1st:
In the packed back-room of Asgard’s Irish Pub in Cambridge, a diverse crowd of 25+ enthusiasts gathered to discuss the next big thing in biology: amateurs. Mackenzie (Mac) Cowell led-off the night with an overview of recent history in biological engineering, and asked the question: Can molecular biology or biotechnology be a hobby? Will advancements in synthetic biology be the tipping point that enables DIYers and garagistas to make meaningful contributions to the biological sciences, outside of traditional institutions? Can DIYbio.org be the Homebrew Computer Club of biology?