DIY Bio, coreboot, and other new frontiers

“The last piece of the computer puzzle to become free”, said Kugg, in explaining the excellence and thrust of the coreboot project. “They make software to replace the BIOS of the computer. Among BIOS makers today, there are only about two large manufacturers. No innovation, or DIY. Until coreboot.” A 25C3 talk by Malmö hacker Peter Stuge about it was named “Beyond the Final Frontier“.

Breaking out of the gray box. In another field, others are doing the same thing.

Nick Taylor, whom I met at Reboot last year (thanks Mygdal and others who make that conference come alive, an annual miracle), has begun blogging in earnest at a new blog he made about amateur microbiology. Go read Genomicon, and especially his screed about DIY biology! He’s become a man not only of words, but of multi-media essaying, a thing hard to do well in microblogging (a medium he’s just as skilled in):

If you can’t grow a beard, don’t grow a beard. If you don’t know, try a moustache. If that fails, stick to eyebrows. That’s my advice.

Anyway, via lurking the amazing but talky diybio mailing list, I heard these two concepts: micropropagation (make lots of plant cells in a jar), and proteomics (“protein genomics”, a weird word like “Obamanomics”). I think proteomics means the process of adding something akin to user-defined functions to proteins. These functions could be like what Danish bio-outfit Aresa did (plants turn red when growing on landmines). Olle-clone: Please do investigate!

And, the concept that everyone should be able to build BioBricks, from a 24C3 talk is another “research thread”. I feel I need to understand all these pieces. At least what they’re for.

Hey, this macroblogging thing is nice.

Published by olleolleolle

Olle is a programmer, enjoying sunny Malmö in Sweden.

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  1. “The last piece of the computer puzzle to become free” ? Not exactly.
    The silicon still does *lots* of stuff behind your back, for instance implementing algorithms for managing bus bandwidths, scheduling processor pipelines and controlling DRAM. And these are NOT free nor trivial. Silicon can even be used to directly implement malicious behavior. See

    The final frontier is further away than you think.

  2. Wonderful! And horrifying at the same time. Great article, thanks for the link.

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