'Biohackers' Push DIY Science in the Basement

Movement aims to capitalize on American passion for invention
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2008 12:28 PM CDT
The idea of doing science at home isn't revolutionary, but the push toward cell biology is a recent one.   ((c) saaby)
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(Newser) – Just as individual computer experts can create new programs and technological movements from home, a new generation of scientists wants to make do-it-yourself biology a household activity. Sessions such as those teaching laypeople how to extract DNA show "how much science can be about duct tape and having a few screws in the right place," one "biohacker" tells the Boston Globe.

Though many science enthusiasts are eager for a time when hobbyists are creating molecules or bacteria with the same ease as model planes and ships in bottles, others have reservations. Just as hackers create computer viruses, home biologists could produce toxic chemicals or diseases. One home chemist, whose lab was raided by suspicious authorities, maintains his hobby is less dangerous than collecting guns.