Gamification of in silico open synthetic biology: a game-changer.


Fancy doing some Synthetic Biology but don’t have access to lab or expensive equipments?
Don’t worry. Synthetic biology is a sub-field of life sciences that requires a lot of in silico tests before eventually create life.
And even if you’re not able to code, again no prob.
Leukippos is a DIY synthetic biology lab in the cloud. This non profit group gives to everyone who can access to a web browser, the opportunity to collaborate on exiting synthetic biology projects. For this reason, Leukippos focus especially on in silico works, so that people can do science independently from their location. The spirit is similar to the OpenWorm project.  A great mission, Big issues, Collaborative simple models.

This gives many people an awesome opportunity, although if they live in low-income countries, or in areas where access to a scientific carrer is constrained. People form all over the world (e.g. India, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Portugal) who share a passion for synthetic biology and computer science have teamed-up together. Recently, two projects are in progress. The first, is a mashup app of all synthetic biology related softwares, on enlace to find everything you need to do your synthetic biology computer work. The other is a synthetic biology related game modeled after FoldIt. Teams can play online together to solve real world problems with help of synthetic biology. The work of the Leukippos project resulted in several publications. They submitted two papers produced by their synthetic biology lab to the International Workshop on Bio Design Automation that will take place this July in London, and got accepted. They have started a crowd sourcing campaign on Microryza to get the money they need for participation at this conference.

So, you got the chance to join as a member to develop the apps, or you could wait the app to play… I assure you that you won’t need skills in biology, but only a good attitude to play videogames!  Or, if you believe in this open-project please give your contributions, also a dollar worth!

Moreover, Leukippos published two reviews. One is about security and safety in synthetic biology, an important topic to keep in mind. The other is about biological computing. see references.

You can find other information on Leukippos and how to join are here.
Gerd H. G. Moe-Behrens, Rene Davis, & Karmella A. Haynes (2013). Preparing synthetic biology for the world Frontiers in MICROBIOTECHNOLOGY, ECOTOXICOLOGY AND BIOREMEDIATION DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00005

Gerd HG Moe-Behrens (2013). The biological microprocessor, or how to build a computer with biological parts Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal DOI: 10.5936/csbj.201204003

About Eugenio Battaglia

My main occupation is Molecular and Cognitive Neuroscience. In my spare time I'm developing a web 3.0 plug-in for decentralizing scientific journal, which exploits free and open big-data management tools for biomedical data. Open Science for a better world.

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