Online DIYbio Communities: The Social Media Roundup

The recent rise of synthetic biology and DIYbio have brought with them budding social communities. For the most part, these online DIYbio communities are still coalescing into organized groups, and some are much more active than others. How new? How active? Well, if you’ve found this site, you probably had to search for it a bit (hopefully that changes as more useful content is added), and you probably came across a lot of dead, no longer developed resources along the way. So this post is dedicated to jacking you into the social media groups that are out there for biohackers the world over.

When it comes to which community to follow, the easiest answer is: all of them. There is so little out there that it’s not a pick-you-poison setup between Facebook and Google+. Each group brings something unique to the table. So check them out and join in!

Facebook’s Synthetic Biology & Online DIYbio Communities:

Facebook really only has two groups that merit mentioning: one for synthetic biology and the second as a pure DIYbio group. Check them out below:

SynBiology

  • Started in April 27th 2012
  • Likes: 110,253
  • Posts: ~1123

DIYbio Singapore Group

  • Started: September 28th 2013
  • Members: 147
  • Posts: ~193

Google+’s Synthetic Biology and Online DIYbio Communities:

Google+, like Facebook, only has two groups worth mentioning. Their Synthetic Biology Community dwarfs what Facebook has going on in terms of number of posts. However, the second group is a bit of a cheat, as it is geared towards all of medicine and not just synthetic biology of DIYbio. Still, it has some awesome posts and since it is all about breakthroughs in medicine and biology, it has a large number of posts on bioengineering and things that would excite the average biohacker.

Synthetic Biology Community

  • Started: December 6th 2012
  • Members: 990
  • Posts: 1648

Advances in Medicine and Biology: Note, because this one is so broad, I’ll only pull post numbers and started date from their subcategory of posts for Synthetic Biology

  • Started: July 10th 2013
  • Members: 41,122
  • Posts: 90

 LinkedIn DIYbio and Synthetic Biology Communities:

Synthetic Biology Group

  • Started: October 10th 2012
  • Members: 1566
  • Posts: 21

DIYbio

  • Started: April 30th 2011
  • Members: 464
  • Posts: 35

TED Talks on DIYbio, Biohacking, and Synthetic Biology

While TED Talks doesn’t really constitute a community in the same sense that Facebook and Google+ do, it does have some community like aspects to it. The comments may not be crazy amazing and the forum posts don’t always have that much activity, but the digital content, the science and information and worldviews behind these presentations themselves are the real treats. If you’re like me, you can’t get enough of biohacking and the possible future that synthetic biology could bring. I’m guilty of having watched these videos a few times over, so by all means, enjoy the leaders of the industry presenting their vision before the intellectually open masses.

Ellen Jorgensen: Biohacker Behind the Early Days of Biohacking Communities

Meet Ellen Jorgensen. She’s partially responsible for the DIYbio movement as you know it today. Here, she makes her case for biohacking in the home, why that’s a good idea, and why fears of biohacking are overblown.

Lee Cronin: Printing Medicine

It may seem like a radical idea, but Lee Cronin is a radical man.

Stewart Brand: Champion of the Dodo

Stewart Brand wants to de-extinct animals. Didn’t know that was a verb? Most people don’t know it’s a possibility. In this conversation he brings up the hard science behind his personal quest to rescue extinct species from being relegated to the fossil record.

Cathal Garvey: DIYbio Advocate from Ireland

Here is Cathal Garvey (who, let’s be honest, has the name of a superhero or supervillan from a far away planet). Cathal is the mind behind the Dremelfuge (a DIY centrifuge that I covered on the DIY Centrifuge page). He definitely has a bit of a bone to pick with people who do not like biotechnology in their food or in their daily life, but aside from a few caustic comments, this presentation is pretty solid and shows how biohacking communities can grow out of nowhere from great minds who are tinker-inclined.

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