RE: Closet biologists story

From: Emlyn O'regan (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 17:09:55 MST

I was really encouraged by this story, particularly because I wasn't aware
of this subculture of "biohackers". I've had a dream of installing an stm in
the garage for a while now :-)

Actually, the main reason I was encouraged was because I'm about to embark
on a (second) BSc, in chemistry & biology, shooting down the molecular
biology route. I've been reading some biology textbooks and its just so
fascinating, not only because the micro/nano world is so interesting and has
incredible potential, but because knowledge of it seems so coarse, even now.
I have a feeling its not going to stay that way for long, however.

Just as a point of interest, the degree I'll be doing (still sorting out
enrollment details) will be by distance, part time, probably about 4 years
in total (because it's part time, mitigated by credit for my previous
study). It's really fascinating how subjects like molecular biology are
handled by distance. For some units, you need to turn up on campus for about
a week in a block to do all the lab work at once. For others, they actually
send you a kit so that you can do the lab work at home. Weird, ey?

My plan is to go through the undergrad years of this thing, then work out
how to proceed from there into honours/grad dip/etc, and finally (hopefully)
a PhD. I particularly want to, in the later stages of study, combine my
computer science and maths background with the molecular biology, and
hopefully come up with something halfway useful :-)

Enabling those later, postgrad years, in terms of income, is fairly dodgy
what with family and all, but hey, the horse might fly. Meanwhile, it's all
moot unless I can get through the undergrad component.

The educated reader will understand that my interest here is in the fields
which lead toward early stage nanotech. I figure that computer science +
molecular biology + chemistry is a pretty good basis to work from. Am I
missing anything important?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Anders Sandberg []
> Sent: Wednesday, 23 January 2002 9:24
> To:
> Subject: Re: Closet biologists story
> On Tue, Jan 22, 2002 at 10:05:27AM -0800, wrote:
> > Interesting -- both from the point of view of terrorism
> concerns but also from how many people are able to do
> independent biological research.
> Indeed. It is not unlike the computer subcultures, although
> software is
> usually somewhat cheaper and easier to work with.
> It may be necessary to safeguard these subcultures in the age
> of anthrax
> scares and pressure from content provider associations; even
> if most of
> it is useless the right to independent inquiry and development is
> extremely important for all of us. There are likely some
> pressure groups
> who would love to force a "professionalization" onto biomedicine and
> computer science in order to make them more controllable.

Confidentiality: The contents of this email are confidential and are
intended only for the named recipient. If the reader of this e-mail is not
the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any use, reproduction,
disclosure or distribution of the information contained in the e-mail is
prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please reply to us
immediately and delete the document.
Viruses: Any loss/damage incurred by using this material is not the sender's
responsibility. Our entire liability will be limited to resupplying the
material. No warranty is made that this material is free from computer virus
or other defect.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:36 MST