Citizen Scientists Attempt Open Source Insulin

DNA

“I proposed that we could change that by making it ourselves, brewing insulin at home.” – Ryan Bethencourt

(July 13, 2015) – Oakland, CA

There is a global revolution underway called biohacking where do-it-yourself scientists outside of academic, commercial, or government laboratories are experimenting with biology and genetic engineering(Al Jazeera: The Brave New World of Biohacking, PBS: What is biohacking and why should we care?). The regions surrounding Silicon Valley are ripe with such like-minded people in biohacking spaces like BioCurious out of Oakland, CA. If you would like to see the birth of a movement that may upend medicine, Big Pharma, and health care as we know it, keep an eye on the Open Source Insulin Project.

The project was recently announced online by Ryan Bethencourt, a leader in the biohacking community. Bethencourt is also Program Director at biotech accelerator IndiBio which provides up to $250k per start-up (TechCrunch: Biotech Accelerator IndiBio Bumps Funding to $250k Per Startup To Give Founders More Runway).

“This week we started a new project with Counter Culture Labs (a Biohacker Space based in Oakland), Arcturus Biocloud (a citizen science, robotic, cloud based lab) and the broader biohacker community, our aim is to Open Source Insulin, opening up a new frontier, open source biopharma. Anthony Di Franco and I had been talking for the last two years about the possibility of open sourcing Insulin, Anthony is a friend and fellow biohacker, he’s also a Type 1 diabetic and has been reliant on insulin injections his entire life, he was thankful for his insurance coverage which made it affordable but felt frustrated that big pharma were still the only means of getting that insulin and he wanted to change that, I proposed that we could change that by making it ourselves, brewing insulin at home.

The only catch of course, was that the costs and tools, even two years ago were still too expensive and too difficult to use for our side project, we also didn’t have access to a reliable lab although we (our community and us) were starting to build out Counter Culture Labs and Berkeley Biolabs to fix this. Fast forward two years later and we now have Arcturus Biocloud, a low cost, robotic consumer lab that can help us “program” the DNA sequence for Insulin, insert it into a bacteria and run it to produce a product, in this case, human insulin (with a price point of $80 per gene to add it into the bacterial construct).

So we decided to proceed, start a team with the support of Counter Culture Labs and try to provide free access to Insulin globally, through biohackerspace partners (for research purposes only at this point). We’re going to open source the project, crowdfund it onhttp://Experiment.com and make it available to anyone at any biohacker space that’s interested. Our target raise is going to be really small, $2k and that will be just to cover material costs and then share the recombinant Insulin with the biohacker community to improve upon it.

The best part of it all is, as Isaac Yonemoto said, “we’re not just making open source Insulin, we’re improving on what Genentech did and learning from their mistakes“.”

The Open Insulin Project might be a ringside seat to a wave of changes from open source initiatives.

 

Main Photo: Wikimedia

 

Subscribe@Raw Science TV |Facebook@Raw Science |Twitter@RawScienceTV |YouTube@RawScience1

20 Comments

  • Reply July 13, 2015

    Neuropharmacologist

    This is a good idea, although will Genentech or Roche come after anybody for the IP on recombinant insulin (that they stole from UCSF)?

    The hard part of engineering this process may be to isolate the small insulin peptide from live E. coli and its pro-inflammatory components.

    You may be better off with yeast or algae which are less likely to elicit septic shock if some wayward particles are accidentally injected.

  • Reply November 10, 2015

    Maureen Muldavin

    Thanks so much for writing about our project! I wanted to let you know that we launched our fundraiser last week! I was hoping you might be able to update your readers with knowledge about our progress. https://experiment.com/projects/open-insulin

    • Reply November 16, 2015

      Raw Science TV

      Maureen, thank you for the information on your fantastic project. We will do an updated post on the project progress with information on fundraising.

  • Reply January 5, 2017

    Jed96

    This website is really interesting, but why it is
    on 11th place in google’s search results.

    It deserves to be in top 5. Many bloggers think that seo is dead in 2016, but it’s not
    true. There is sneaky method to reach google’s top
    5 that not many people know. Just search for: pandatsor’s tools
    8fd4e5bad6a1a51135d0d3daee6bed72

  • Reply February 16, 2017

    msoffice2007freedownload

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More Informations here: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • Reply February 24, 2017

    hampton bay lamps

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More Infos here: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • Reply February 24, 2017

    subway surf hilesi

    … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 94017 more Infos: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • Reply March 1, 2017

    penis enlargement

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 88008 more Infos: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • Reply March 14, 2017

    http://goo.gl/UKksGr

    … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 81661 more Infos: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • Reply March 18, 2017

    UK Chat Rooms

    … [Trackback]

    […] Informations on that Topic: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • Reply March 22, 2017

    photography logo

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More Informations here: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • Reply March 29, 2017

    economics tuition

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More Infos here: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 63075 more Infos: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 46563 more Infos: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • … [Trackback]

    […] Find More Informations here: rawscience.tv/citizen-scientists-attempt-open-source-insulin/ […]

  • Reply April 13, 2017

    wellfargo

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues
    of plagorism or copyright violation? My website has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced
    but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any ways to help
    reduce content from being ripped off? I’d really appreciate it.
    8fd4e5bad6a1a51135d0d3daee6bed72

Leave a Reply