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Science Makers: Programming with DNA

During this Science Makers, we'll learn about how to programme a logic gate with DNA and express it in a 'cell-free extract' that can translate it into a protein. We'll then visualise the results using DIY open hardware that we'll construct on the day.
When Nov 04, 2017
from 12:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where Makespace classroom 16 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX
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DNA can be used to prototype genetic circuits that respond to inputs and produce visible output like fluorescent protein, or to make metabolic pathways such as the five proteins required to make the purple pigment violacein.


Dr Tom Meany and Helene Steiner (Cell-Free Tech) will introduce cell-free systems and the prospects for open source DNA and hardware for research and education.

Sina Schack (Sensors CDT) is a biologist and PhD student in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. She will describe the work of a student team building a genetic circuit to test wells for arsenic contamination and accompanying open source hardware. 

Dr Jenny Molloy (Synthetic Biology SRI) will introduce on-going projects on cell-free biology at the University and ways to get involved.


If you would like to take a Bi.xel device home with you, please email to let us know and bring £99 for the kit.

• Build a Bi.xel blue light transilluminator to visualise green fluorescent protein.

• Express DNA in a cell free system!


12:00 - Arrival and introductions

12:15 - Talks and discussion

13:30 - Pizza 

14:00 - Making!

17:00 - Finish

Science Makers is a monthly event to discuss and build low-cost, DIY and open hardware for science and education. All are welcome for the talks, making or both! It is primarily designed for adults, accompanied children are allowed to attend but please alert the organisers on 

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The Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative provides a hub for anyone interested in Synthetic Biology at the University of Cambridge, as well as commercial partners and external collaborators.