Etech 2009: It’s like Spore, only real!

Whew! March has been a whirlwind month as evidenced by the lack of activity on the Ginkgo blog.  Barry and I had a great time at Etech.  I even got to make my own wearable electronics t-shirt in a tutorial with Leah Buechley!

Barry and I were blown away by the turn out at our Real Hackers Program DNA session.  At the session, we did ran a demo of the eTransformation Kit in which people get to program bacteria to turn red, glow in the dark or smell like banana’s — essentially the biological equivalent of installing a piece of software on a computer.  We think kits like this are a great way to educate people about biological engineering.  It also sparks important conversations about how to encourage best practices among novice and professional biological engineers alike.

For people who couldn’t make it, you can download the handout (pdf warning!) or check out Fumi Yumazaki’s Flickr photostream.  For the Japanese readers out there, Fumi also wrote up her experience at the session.

The eTransformation Kit was a group effort by Kalvin Kao, Mac Cowell, Jason Bobe, Jason Kelly, Barry Canton and myself.  Thanks to all!

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