February 21, 2013
Biohackers create do-it-yourself Bioprinter
A group of biohackers that meets at BioCurious, a community biology laboratory in Sunnyvale, California, has created a do-it-yourself inkjet printer that can print living cells. MIT Technology Review reports.
Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of the biohacker movement (see “Doing Biotech in My Bedroom”), whose aim is to tweak everyday technologies and make it affordable and easy for anyone to manipulate DNA, cells, and other of life’s building blocks. The far-fetched possibilities ring too close to bad science fiction. Other skeptics think these bio-tinkerers won’t produce much more than elaborate science fair projects.
And it’s true, the new DIY bioprinter isn’t a fundamental breakthrough—well-funded academic and corporate research labs already work with more sophisticated 3-D printing equipment to layer cells and build artificial tissue structures as they try to engineer entire organs and replacement human parts.
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