17 participants from academia, industry, and independents are now together for the BRAAVOO Workshop and Creative Design Course & Biodesign for the Real World Winter School at UNIL.
We met on Sunday afternoon, and after some speed-dating style introductions, and a welcome and overview by Professor Jan van der Meer, we headed into Lausanne for the kick-off dinner.
Since Monday, we have been busy hands-on putting together the e.coli based bioreporters (arsenic, mercury, alkanes, and zinc/cadmium) as well as the winterschool fluorometer version 4.0. The idea is to test the strains, test them on environmental samples, and to use the DIY fluorometer to see if we can get a nice reading. At the end of the week, everyone takes back the fluorometer, and if they have a collaborating scientific institution, we can organize sharing the bioreporter strains.
Every evening, we have a lecture from collaborators in the BRAAVOO network. Monday night, we heard from Shimshon Belkin, entitled “Bacterial biosensors and applications”. The talk was very inspiring, with bioreporters that can sense the vapours from explosives. Together with physicists and engineers, they are building field scanners – below is the extracted and analyzed test-field image after 22 hours.
The week is packed, including a visit to hackuarium, the local hackerspace in Renens, and finally with an open-house on Friday afternoon to the public. If you are around, we hope to see you at the l’éprouvette!