DIYBio SG in Copenhagen Open Haven : Volunteering for Kopenlab

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2014 at 5:05 am

Kopenlab is a collaborative space for citizen science, diybio, contemporary art and maker culture. This year, Kopenlab has participated in the Science in the CIty Festival, a side event together with ESOF conference 2014 which is a biannual pan-European conference  dedicated to showcasing the latest developments in scientific research and innovation. This time, the excitement took place at the heart of Copenhagen.

Through this festival, Kopenlab aims to show how open cultures in design, making and citizen science are contributory to knowledge advancements and outreach. In the near future, they hope to create a citizen science center where individuals from all walks of life can collaborate with no knowledge discrimination, In the process, a novel methodology of research, hardware development and entrepreneurship could flourish, eliminating the requirement for “access cards” to research laboratories and workplaces where an individual has to strive to earn certificates for entry into. This festival is the starting point in this long road and revolves around the activities and people of Biologigaragen.

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The Old Storage Building at Thorvald Bindesbølls Plads in Carlsberg is where our Kopenlab space would be. The building was literally just an empty space:

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But the talented volunteers managed to transform the space into THIS, an aura of a modern art museum, with chic resting areas and beautiful installations, coupled with cosy areas for workshops and talks to be conducted.

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A blog post can never do justice to a 6-day activity-packed festival hosted by Kopenlab. You can go here to find out about the details of the festival. But just to entice you a bit, here are some of the photos taken at the festival. Do keep a lookout for the Kopenlab! Their activities would be something you might want to turn on your reticular activating system for.

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A Bioreactor vest with Malthe Borch(Biologigaragen) and Brian Degger(Hackteria)


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This is the “Shake it with” series which include  DIY design and constructions by people from Hackteria! A worksop called “Shake it Baby” was also conducted.




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Racquel and her artwork “Thread of Fate



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Above shows 2 DIY hardware at the exhibition. The left is a 3D printer, the first in the world.  And on the right is a wild open PCR made by Hackteria



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Kate and I helped out at a DNA Barcoding Workshop conducted by Adeline Seah, a Science communicator at Biodiversity Connections and a Consultant at SCELSE, NTU. This aimed to use molecular methods to find out what are the species that are included in Herbal supplements where ingredients are usually not specified.



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Above is the stage for “Joined at the Chips” performed by LoVid duo that comprises of Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus




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The left is Pey (Lifepatch) busy facilitating her workshop “Home-made Kimchi” and Cristina Muñoz (Biologigaragen) for her workshop “Urine-reacter Co-Design“.




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And after a busy day, we would usually gather together for a chill social night. Our topic of interest this time as we down our beers is “what are the various uses you can think of with gel boxes?” We had plentiful insights from having light displays in TBE buffer using LED lights kindly provided by Marc Dusjagr, to controlling our pseudo-Frankensteinisch Daphnias caught by Urs Gaudenz and Brian Degger to perform parade-like formations. DIYers FTW..



Thank you Kopenlab for this experience and the coordinators for making this happen 🙂

  • Christoffer Bengt: hardware and tools coordinator
  • Cristina Muñoz: Graphic Design coordinator
  • Emil L Polny: main coordinator, Science Drop coordinator,  emilpolny at
  • Jens Ulrik Jørgensen, Exhibition design coordinator
  • Louise Dyhre Helles: volunteer coordinator
  • Majken Overgaard: exhibition coordinator
  • Martin M Borch: main coordinator, workshop coordinator,  mmborch at
  • Stina Hasse: exhibition coordinator
  • Søren Borch: economy coordinator, soren.borch at
  • Adeline seah: DNA Barcoding & Biolab Coordinator





DIYBio SG goes to Switzerland : Water Hackathon in EPFL

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm


The Water Hackathon is a parallel event of the Tech4Dev International Conference, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland from 4 to 7 June 2014. The main aims of the DIY movement tied in with this conference are succinctly illustrated by Jenny Molloy in this article. The Water Hackathon took place on 6 to 7 June and it is co-produced by Bio-Design for the Real World and, together with Gabrielle Levine and Nur Akbar Arofatullah. The organizers who made this hackathon a possibility includes the following with no significance in the order

  • Gabrielle who is an artist from Tisch School of the Arts New York University and Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.
  • Akbar, a member of Lifepatch, and a researcher from Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
  • Sachiko Hirosue , who is a senior scientist at EPFL and also one of the spearheaders in the Bio-Design for the Real World.
  • Marc Dusseiller , one of the co-starters of Hackteria, owner of the dusjagr labs, and also a part of the Swiss Mechatronic Art Society
  • Urs Gaudenz, the owner of the Gaudilabs that deals with open-culture technology, and also a part of Hackteria.
  • Denisa Kera, an assistant professor at NUS and a fellow of the Asia Research Institute (STS cluster) and Tembusu college

The other participants were also contributory to the success of this event as friendships were forged and minds were opened.

A hackathon is an intensive marathon  pursuit of brain-storming, programming and making that bring together like-minded people, accompanied by the sharing of knowledge, skills and innovation. It usually revolves around a particular topic of interest.  This Hackathon, similarly in the spirit of  open collaboration,  is all about open source technologies for rivers, oceans and lakes, exploring the possibilities of open hardware for open Science projects. Human activities have put a toil on our Earth’s water bodies and this Hackathon hopes to create opportunities for hands-on exploration of open hardware as well as ideas to create solutions to these pertinent environmental and social issues. Some of the practical topics explored are the following:



all floated well…some danced on the same spot… more improvements made later! I kinda like it doing a cute cha cha in water.


some ended up as the children’s toys.. Life’s good 😀


and some were pretty nimble boats! But a pity it wasn’t captured on tape!



Water snake on left and water noodle on right…



Akbar’s efficient solution to boat-making and our  mini sample collector at the bottom of the boat. A collaborative effort!



the Augmented Water which changes from blue to red when over-usage of water volumes happen. An instructable to make this can be found here!



Marc Dusseiller Dusjagr (dusjagr lab, hackteria), his team mate and their mozzbuster



Made by Urz Gaudens (GaudiLab, hackteria)


Different versions of MiCam made by Akbar (Lifepatch)


We look forward to more hackathons to come ! More pictures of the event can be found at the Hackteria website which also leads to a collation of various media coverages!


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-Samantha Kwah


DIY Yogurt Making

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2014 at 3:24 am

Do you feel yogurt in Singapore is really expensive? Or maybe you are lactose-intolerant and finding alternatives to imbibing milk? Well you can get round the problem by having a microbial farm (yogurt) in your fridge, regularly harvesting, ingesting and inoculating into new milk media. This session was led by Chinmay Pendharkar who gave us astounding insights and know-how of these yogurty things.

Yogurt-making is based on a process called fermentation by bacteria. The 2 well-known bacteria (but not limited to these) to work this magic are Lactobacillus delbrueckii subs. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Once these bacteria are allowed to grow in a milk media, both will produce lactic acid which coagulates milk proteins to give yogurt its texture and tang.

Firstly, we heat milk to 80°C to kill any undesirable bacteria and to denature milk proteins thus avoiding the formation of a “milk skin”. Alternatively, if you can easily buy UHT or pasteurized milk, you can skip this heating step.

Next, a tablespoon of bacterial culture(yogurt) is added to the milk. You can buy the plain “Greek style”/”Natural” yogurt for this starter culture.

The mixture is then maintained at 45°C for 4 to 7 hours to allow fermentation. There are specialized yogurt kitchenware for this. But if you don’t have it, you can improvise by using microwaves where you slightly warm the milk(without yogurt) in the microwave for a few seconds, then add the culture and leave the mixture in the warm microwave environment for 7 hours. Alternatively, since Singapore is so tropical, you can simply leave the mixture outside for longer hours.

Once the yogurt is set, refrigerate immediately..

Some of the tweaks to make more interesting yogurt:

  1. Full Cream milk makes creamier yogurt
  2. Add extra cream to make creamier yogurt
  3. Different milk brands give slightly different yogurt taste/texture
  4. Add fruits to yogurt to offset the sourness
  5. use a warm water bath for yogurt while setting. Another alternative to microwave.
  6. set yogurt in clay pot as earthenware has pores for water drainage to aid yogurt thickening.

Some of our products 🙂


The left is done with full cream UHT milk. And the right is with strawberry-flavored HL milk. The milk can be purchased easily from any supermarkets. Both yogurt cultures are purchased from Mustafa center (a treasure cove for food-hackers !).  According to Alex and Kamilla, the strawberry-flavoured ones turned out really good :D.

Let us know how yours turned out !



Hackerspace SG



Kate Liow

Alexander Yang

Eugene Ng

Cindy Lin

Zeng Si Min

Diong Huey Ting

Wee Kiang



Samantha Kwah

A Cat named Husky


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