Biology and technology are currently believed to be the essence of the future. It is an exciting time to learn about both, the study of life and the application of science, because soon they will open new doors that we did not even know existed.
Adeline Seah, a Singaporean biologist, bio-hacker and wildlife conversationalist paired up with The Tech Academy, a social enterprise that teaches children ( ages 8-14) computer programming and electronics, to host the workshops Bio-Hacking in Dhaka.
What is BIO-HACKING? Bio-Hacking can also be termed as “Do-It-Yourself Biology”, “Open Biology” or “Anyone Can Bio”. The aim of Bio-Hacking is to make the general people, regardless of their age or educational background, access biology and the necessary tools outside the lab environment. Seah and The Tech Academy believe that with all of us together, not merely expert scientists, we can achieve greater goals. Perhaps diagnosing diseases, sequencing our own DNA, improving medicine will soon be done by the general mass at home without a fuss.
In the first two weeks of February 2017, three interactive Bio-Hacking workshops were held. Two of the workshops were located in Universities, BRAC University Natural Science Club (BUNSC), and Independent University of Bangladesh (IUB). The final one was held for any interested children in Jatra Biroti.
These workshops introduced some significant topics in the realm of biological science: DNA extraction and isolation from strawberries and saliva, fermentation of kombucha for probiotics, citizen science and more.
The Bio-Hacking sessions allowed individuals explore a small segment of the big vast world of life science and technology. With new technology arising day by day, such as the DIY Microscope and the portable Gel Electrophoresis machine, we hope the people of Dhaka/ Bangladesh get a fair chance to be actively involved too.
Seah’s short stay in Dhaka was fruitful, as her workshops sparked the curiosity of many minds. The Tech Academy hopes to continue the spread of knowledge in biology and technology Dhaka by taking these eventful workshops to schools throughout Dhaka.
written by Sihinta Shembil