Welcome to the wiki of the Hackuarium association!
At Hackuarium, we want to bring biology (and biologists) to the world, and the real world back to biology. Our laboratory is an excuse to meet and discuss, build and develop ideas in a neutral, open, noncompetitive and not-for-profit environment.
This page was launched during our 1st Ever Hackuarium Wiki Sprint that took place on 7 December 2014. As you might notice quickly, almost everything here is a work-in-progress.
Scroll down and find out what this is all about!
What is DIYbio?
DIYbio (Do-It-Yourself biology) is a movement that wants to free the practice of biological research and innovation from the institutional and industrial laboratories. Pursued both by amateurs and professional biologists, DIYbio is developing low-cost and low-tech solutions to problems identified by the community.
The movement is characterised by an extremely diverse set of practices and participants. Some call themselves 'biohackers', in reference to the hacker culture. The quick solution (even if unconventional) is what is meant by hacks...
We actually believe more and more in doing DIT (Do-It-Together) Science, not just 'DIYbio,' as it reflects better the scope of the trans-disciplinary projects we do (often not only biology).
What is Hackuarium?
Hackuarium is a not-for-profit association aiming at democratizing science through public engagement.
Our laboratory in Renens (Switzerland) is open to anyone sharing the values of the association and who is dedicated to follow the DIYbio Europe ethical guidelines.
Our projects are initiated and carried out by scientists and non-scientists from a variety of backgrounds. They are passionate about tinkering with biology in particular, and technology in general. Some are engineers, architects, designers, IT and computer scientists or retired professionals, but others have no scientific education. They are mostly citizens interested in open and participatory research and innovation, outside the constraints of traditional institutions.
Hackuarium members want to investigate new ways of carrying out interdisciplinary research and innovation, by making their results accessible (low-cost), simple and easily reproducible (low-tech) and by promoting an open source philosophy.
Where are we?
Hackuarium is proudly using infrastructures provided by UniverCité, an unconventional innovation hub that opened in May 2014 in the IRL building in Renens. Our equipment is mostly upcycled material from institutions and industries from western Switzerland. We have documented our working environment as it has evolved.
Between December 2015 and January 2017, UniverCité regrouped our laboratory, a workshop and coworking space.
The original space was under construction work from January until June 2017, and we temporarily relocated on the first floor of the same building.
Since July 2017, we are back on the second floor of what is now called the "Ateliers de Renens" Chemin du Closed 5, 1020 Renens. We have a biohackerspace where (almost) everything goes, and a P1 facility for synthetic bio enthusiasts and more.
Check it out during one of our open nights, every Wednesday...
Renens is a hopping hub between Lausanne and Geneva. You can get to us by train from the airport in Geneva within an hour.
Who are we?
Our members reflect the diversity that is in and around Lausanne/Renens.
Check us out, and find out what makes Hackuarium a good mix.
The current committee is composed of the following people:
- President: Rachel Aronoff (also Citizen Science coordinator and Biosafety Officer)
- Lab Manager: Gustavo Santamaria
- Secretary and Treasurer: Luc Henry
- Shadow Treasurer Masoud Alipour
- Deputy Biosecurity and Communications Coordinator: Olivier Emery
- Art and Science coordinator: Vanessa Lorenzo
- System Administrator: Sam Sulaimanov
- Talent scout and evangelist for Academy: Anne-Laure Pittet
- Talent scout and evangelist for Entrepreneurs: Gianpaolo Rando
Members and Membership
Do you have a project in mind? Do you just want to support us?
Hackuarium operates on a membership basis, even though all events are open to anyone, including non-members.
The monthly membership fee is 20 CHF. It gives 24/7 access to the lab.
We would love to have you as a member! Just follow the instructions below.
Want to join?
- We have a new form on the website, to fast-track joining the community, if you are keen, perhaps after a few #OpenHackuarium experiences (every Wednesday evening is open to the public).
- Read some helpful info here.
- Write an email to email@example.com and give us a short description of:
- Yourself, your interests, your background
- What you would like to learn or do at Hackuarium
Friends of Hackuarium
Our lab and space are open to the public. Please come and have a chat! And if you have any questions get in touch!
OpenHackuarium: Every Wednesday, 19:00-22:00
You want to organise an event at Hackuarium, or with the Hackuarium community? We have guidelines below.
Upcoming Hackuarium Events
- 2018.07.25 Wednesday 18:30-19:30: Board Meeting
- 2018.06.27 Wednesday 18:30-19:30: Board Meeting
- 2018.05.31 Thursday 18:30-12:30: Hackuarium will be paying a visit to FabLab Onl'fait and ImpactHub Geneva
- 2018.05.23 Wednesday 19:30-22:00: Low-cost electronics, DIY, education and development - with Govinda Upadhyay, Founder & CEO of LEDsafari
- 2018.05.23 Wednesday 18:30-19:30: Board Meeting
- 2018.05.19 Saturday 14:30-18:30: Hack ton doudou workshop - Our friends from FabLab Onl'fait will teach us doudou hacking!
- 2018.05.16 Wednesday 19:30-22:00: Swiss Engineers visit Hackuarium - Looking forward to an evening of Moss music? Join us!
- 2018.05.02 Wednesday 19:30-22:00: 200 weeks of Hackuarium - We celebrate with a film night!
- 2018.04.27 Friday 18:00-22:00: Visit of Hackuarium by students from CRI Paris
- 2018.04.25 Wednesday 19:30-22:00: OH199 Open Hackuarium - Octanis Update and more
- 2018.04.21 Saturday 14:00-17:30: DNA Damage Workshop - Open-sourcing DNA damage detection for Citizen Science
- 2018.04.18 Wednesday 19:30-22:00: Bernard Dugas - Suivant les pas de Pierre Delbet: Magnesium et Santé -
or follow our google calendar
Other Upcoming Events at UniverCité
Other Upcoming Events
- 2018.03.08 Thursday 10:30-16:30: 20180308 Swilabs Meeting Zurich
- 2018.03.08 Thursday 10:30-16:30: 20180308 Swilabs Meeting Zurich
Past Hackuarium Events
You can find the complete list of our past events here.
You want to organise an event? Go for it!
Help us spread the love for tech, science, art and design.
Here is a "Wiki express" so that everyone has the basics:
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org — to make sure there is no conflict with another event
- Someone on the board will check that the space is free
- Build a wiki page for the event (see template below)
- Our 'communications coordinator' will get in touch to ask for content and will make sure the announcements are made on all the social media outlets for Hackuarium!
- In case you need a microgrant to cover the costs (up to 300.-), send an email to email@example.com with a description (what, when, who) and a preliminary budget.
- When all this is arrange, talk to the community, to spread the word —> us the slack #_uc-events channel
- Is it a WORKSHOP? All the previous & make sure you get your logistics right! (and use the tag at the bottom of the page)
- Is there a SIMILAR workshop ALREADY planned? If yes, negotiate dates and: Do you target the SAME people? If yes, negotiate. If not, no problem. It maybe interesting to see what others do.
Template for an Hackuarium event
First, create a line for your event on the main page under the [Main_Page#Events | Event section] using the following line:
:<li>'''201X.XX.XX''' Wednesday 19:00-22:00: [[201XXXXX_TITLE | TITLE]] - SHORT DESCRIPTION
Make sure the date, time and title are provided. Save the main page.
The event will appear with a link. By clicking on this link you will create the event page.
The following must be added to the event page (replace XXX by appropriate values):
Open Hackuarium #XX - TITLE<br> Organisé par XXX<br> '''ENGLISH BELOW''' <br> * Langue principale cette semaine: '''Anglais'''<br> * Thème : '''TITLE''' * Date : '''Mercredi XX.XX.2018, 19h''', présentation et discussion à 19:30 et jusqu'à 21h * Lieu : Salle "XXX", UniverCité, 3ème étage - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -<br> * Main language this week: '''English'''<br> * Theme: '''TITLE''' * Date: '''Wednesday XX.XX.2018, 19:00''', presentation and discussion start at 19:30 * Location: Room "XXX", UniverCité, 3rd Floor
Add a text description providing more details about the event.
You include pictures in the same way as in any other page using the following code:
Add the following tags at the bottom of the page:
Here, you will find the projects going on in the Hackuarium.
- BIO-DESIGN for the REAL WORLD
- Living Instruments
- Micro to Macro Water Pollution - with Hammerdirt and BIO-DESIGN for the REAL WORLD
- Octanis - with more information about their Rover / Balloon here
- AGiR! for genomic integrity
- Moss Menageries with AGiR!
- Open Source Bioreactor
- Steady state bioreactor
- Workshop Bioprinter
- Terraforming Alkaline Experiments
- DIY Transilluminator
- Hacktion challenges
- Bience (Beer and Science!)
- Mycelium Structures
- Live Type
- LivingLab Design
- Quantitative Anthropology
- Impression 3D
- Projects:Dépollution des stands de tirs Suisses
- Incubateur bon marché
- Space Seed
- Reception d'images satellites
- Edible wall
- ZéBU CH
- Compost Bacteria
- Protein purification systems
- Colab Biomaterials
Rules at Hackuarium
We have very few rules at Hackuarium. The goal of the association is to provide freedom to its members, so they can explore beyond what is allowed elsewhere. However, we want members and anyone participating in our activities to feel comfortable and respected.
This page describes the code of conduct for Hackuarium members.
Use of P1 laboratory
As of November 2017, Hackuarium is officially hosting its own P1 laboratory. While we still lack some essential infrastructure (-80 freezer, ventilated fume hood), we are working on it... More can be found out about use of this facility by following the next link... P1 Lab Activities
All the protocols that we use at Hackuarium will be found here (work in progress). They are detailed and structured so that the main focus is on applications. The idea is to give crucial information on how to apply the most common techniques of the Biology toolbox. The protocols are structured as follow:
- A scheme describing each
- A brief description of the protocol and its use
- A description of the different ways of carrying out the protocol. Ideally there should be a description of a commercial kit and a DIY kit.
- A description of the safety issues and best practice
- Information specific to Hackuarium and where to find the components, tools and reagents.
This page describes all the instruments available at Hackuarium (work in progress..), their location and how to use them.
Up-to-date list of instruments we still need
This on-line document contains all the instruments, tools and consumables we are looking for. We have a standard donation contract (contrat de donation, in French) and if your organisation happen to discard a piece of equipment we are (or may be) looking for, contact us!
Where we shop
As a general rule, we do not buy anything. We try to recycle, upcycle, bicycle, epicycle anything we can, or ask around if anyone can provide supplies for free.
In some cases it does not work out, and so these are the place where we can find what we need.
In any case, Please contact Luc Henry if you need to order anything in the name of Hackuarium.
Labware and Reagents
Consumables and some chemicals can be purchased from Huber Lab.
More chemicals can be obtained from Carl Roth.
If necessary, other chemicals and biochemicals can be obtained from Sigma Aldrich.
Molecular biology tools can be purchased from Qiagen.
Swiss-based Smiples has a very extensive listing of second hand laboratory and technical items. These can be bought from their online shop or from Ricardo.
But most laboratory hardware can be obtained from our network of friends and partners. Get in touch with Luc Henry if you need anything specific and we'll do our best to find it.
Options for electronic parts:
- Ebay (international)
- AliExpress (China)
- Adafruit (UK)
- Seeedstudio (China)
- Tmart (Hong Kong)
- Rasberry pi shop (Switzerland)
- Distrelec (Switzerland)
How to built a new project page on our Wiki
If you want to start or edit a project page on Hackuarium's wiki, please follow these instructions.
The DIY biology / Biohacking movement
And a much more complete list by Massimiliano Simons, KU Leuven:
Media and Press
Please check our Press kit out. It includes a prototype Press review of most of our media appearances over the years.
We now have an identification number aka Participant Identification Code (PIC) from the European Participant Portal for any Horizon 2020 application. The Hackuarium PIC number is 907732306. It can be verified on the official search engine.
Do you want to contribute to making Hackuarium a diverse and lively community? Check out our wanted lists: