The necessary equipment and reagents needed for molecular and micro- biology projects have become cheaper and cheaper over the years. It is now possible for individuals to experiment with this technology informally and openly. Through its openness, the DIYBio community has come to comprise of a broad diversity of members from varied professional backgrounds and it continues to grow due to increasing numbers of individuals becoming interested in exploring the tools of biological science for their own particular goal. Though the types of goals apparent across DIYBio projects are truly varied (i.e. anything from commercial, to artistic, to humanitarian), a key shared interest is in enabling others to experiment and play with the technology for themselves.
Community labs such as London Biohackspace are a key part of the DIYBio community as they offer a physical space to share resources and knowledge that enable DIYBio projects; by having an active community contributing to their running with a diverse set of skills, community labs are able to push the boundaries of what can be achieved on shoestring budgets in an informal setting.
Ilya Levantis is one of the directors of London Biohackspace, the first community biology lab in the UK registered to work with genetic modification (GM). In addition to his work on creating open-source standard operating procedures for working with genetic modification in community labs, he has been involved in a number of collaborations that connect academia with DIYBio