Make: Vol 56 is all about biohacking. Ever since the Sumerians learned to hack yeast to make beer, we’ve enjoyed the growth of the biological construction set. But beer doesn’t make a civilization alone. Fermentation experiments led to biochemistry that describes biomolecules. Thanks to microscopes we learned germ theory and how disease is transmitted. This biological construction set is now by far the biggest of all forms of making. There are about 150 types of electronic components, but chemists have access to over 20 million synthetic chemicals, with 1 million new ones each year. Then there’s health making: fabricating hardware that aids the human body and our health. We can call this broad grouping “Life Sciences Making” — a big-tent term for DIY biology, maker health technologies, maker bionics, DIY molecular gastronomy, and other fields where your bits and atoms also include cells and life. It’s the new kid on the block with a very old legacy. Today, life science and health makers form networks like MakerHealth and DIY bio communities, fueling open protocols and cheap instrumentation.
Need a place to begin? Check out the OpenAPS community’s continuous glucose monitors and Open Insulin’s insulin pumps, or extract your own DNA for a biohacked daiquiri or for use in a 3D printed centrifuge. —Jose Gomez-Marquez