Posts Tagged ‘SwabFest’

Manchester DIYBio May Meeting: Write up

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

May’s DIYBio meeting was full of exciting stuff, with the first results of the microbe map, as well as lots of discussion on what we wanted to do next.

Having taken swabs from a variety of bus stops around Manchester at the Swabfest, a large part of the 18th May meeting was spent looking at the agar plates, counting how many microbial colonies had grown and marvelling at the variety of colours and shapes of moulds and bacteria! There were very clear differences between different samples, with some devoid of life and others almost completely covered in bugs.


How we got the Go Ahead for the Microbe Map

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the planning meeting in April where the details of the Microbe Map were hashed out*.  However one question which I’m told was discussed in detail was the ethics of the experiment, and how we should plan the work to make sure we weren’t taking any risks (to ourselves or anyone else) and to avoid potential minefields.  An important part of this was getting permission to swab the items that formed part of the map: although the original plan was to sample bank ATMs in the city, it occurred to us that despite the fact these are publically accessible, they actually belong to the banks  – who might worry about what the results show.  Even if we weren’t specifically going to be drawing any such conclusions, “Bank X has the most germs!” was a headline they would not want to see in the Metro! (more…)

DIYBIO SwabFest Review

Monday, May 9th, 2011

This week was the third meeting of the Manchester DIY Bio group – the breeding ground for citizen biology. In previous meetings we had planned a starter project to explore the microbes of Manchester, and now was the time to metaphorically get our hands dirty.

Firstly though, we got to see how literally dirty our hands were with the results of the last meeting’s experiments, where we’d put our hands in agar jelly, and swabbed various surfaces around MadLab. The petri-dishes, which had been stored at room temperature for four days to allow the microbes to grow, were spread across the table and we all examined the cultures growing within. There was quite a range of stuff growing. Jo assured us that everything was harmless (she also, worryingly, kept referring to the microbes as ‘beautiful’ – I guess that’s scientists for you!). Most of them also looked reassuringly benevolent, apart from Asa’s hand-print, which had some kind of spores growing in it which looked decidedly sinister. (more…)

DIYbio SwabFest Results

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Bio Hacking in Manchester

Title: DIYbio SwabFest Results
Location: MadLab
Description: Come along to help us analyse the Manchester DIYbio ‘Microbe Map’ data gathered on Wednesday 4th of May, and help us build the Manchester Microbe Map!
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2011-05-18
End Time: 21:00

After all exploring the streets and combing the bus stops in search of Mancunian bacteria, we will be revealing the results of the SwabFest, discussing how we can analyse and display the data, and listening to bacterially- theme music. All sample plates are stored at MadLab safely at room temperature for 3 days, until they go in the fridge on Monday 9th of May. On the 18th of May we will reveal the results.

Please add your photos to the Flickr pool, or send your photos to us, have a look at what pictures we have so far .If you’re an expert in data visualisation, technology hacking, art or microbiology, we need your input.

We will also be discussing what the next DIYBio practical project will be, so bring along all your biohacking ideas!

If you haven’t already, please join our DIYBIO MCR Group , where we will discuss the results and future meet- ups. Or follow DIYBio on Twitter.

DIYbio SwabFest

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Bio Hacking in Manchester

Title: DIYbio SwabFest
Location: MadLab
Description: Come along to the Manchester DIYbio SwabFest on Wednesday 4th of May and help us build the Manchester Microbe Map!
Start Time: 18:00
Date: 2011-05-04
End Time: 19:00

Get to the Madlab at 6pm for a brief introduction, before setting out to explore the streets in search of Mancunian bacteria. Samples collected, there’ll be a session at the Madlab where we’ll store and label our microbes followed by the Swabfest after-party with drinks and (hopefully) the finest bacterially-themed music the internet has to offer.

We are looking to show our results during FutureEverything conference, on May the 13th

If you haven’t already, please join our DIYBIO MCR Group , where we will discuss the results and future meet- ups. Or follow DIYBio on Twitter.

Get involved in the #swabfest!