Ack! So long since I’ve posted anything. Part of this is due to the fact that I haven’t had much new information on my project. I started interning at the Fred Hutchinson Center which is such an amazing opportunity, once again, thank you Barry (Dr. Stoddard.) I have to make a serious effort not to squeak with excitement every time I come in, I’m sure eventually buffers and mini-preps will make me groan, but right now, they’re pretty much the coolest thing ever. When I’m in the lab I almost feel disconnected from real life, like living in this alternate science universe. I wonder when my dream changed from living in a world that was entirely pink (Oh yes, there were unicorn Queens as well of course. And cotton candy clouds) to a science lab. I often feel a little intimidated since I have no practical knowledge, like at any moment someone might tell me, “Sorry, you’re not as smart as we thought. GET OUT!” Then I would run away sobbing, and go work at McDonalds for the rest of my life, gaining 300 lbs and losing all my hair. (This also happens to me my failing a test nightmare. We’re going to call this over perfectionism rather than crazy delusion please)
But enough about my perceived physiological disorders, and back to science. Yesterday my friend Cindy Wu was in town from San Fransisco giving a talk at Ashoka Youth Venture so we met up and I got to go hear her speak. She was amazing as usual, and helped give me some great new ideas. I’ve decided to look into opening a Seattle Bio-Hackerspace (information on this movement here). Seattle has a huge startup community, and a huge biotech community, but because of a lack of a big DIYBio community and no place to do it, basically no Biotech startup community. One thing I personally believe very strongly in, is Youth and people without a formal background, to make a difference and have ideas that can create change. (More on this in later posts. Don’t worry, you guys won’t be missing out on the “What do you mean I’m JUST a kid!” rant) A Bio-Hackerspace allows this innovation without a formal biology background. A Hackerspace is a community owned space with lab equipment, that people can tinker around and make things/ test ideas. I’m hoping to get some funding, as well as equipment donations, and then member dues should help cover the lease. Hackerspaces often end up in basements, garages, or old warehouses (A.K.A. places with cheap rent and without heating, because really it’s not true innovation if you’re comfortable) Right now I’m gauging interest and scoping out potential funders, but I hope to have one up and running by 2015.
So that’s the update for right now. I’m still looking for lab space to get some experimental data. So we’ll see how that goes, but I have the lab to occupy me in the mean time.