BIOHACKING TIMELINE

  • Sylvan Katz Pens Article about "Biohackers" https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg12516984-100-forum-roses-are-black-violets-are-green-the-emergence-of-amateur-genetic-engineers/'

    Sylvan Katz Pens Article about "Biohackers" https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg12516984-100-forum-roses-are-black-violets-are-green-the-emergence-of-amateur-genetic-engineers/'
    "BIOHACKERS! Amateur genetic engineers! A new age! Are you crazy? Genetic engineering is the sole domain of intensely educated researchers with well-equipped laboratories!" Article details the emergence of DIY Biology and Citizen Science. Questions of regulations, pathogens, safety and protocol are raised. "We will not know until biohackers step forward to announce themselves and their accomplishments."
  • US Government: Select Agents Rule

    US Government: Select Agents Rule
    Under United States law, "Biological Select Agents or Toxins" are bio-agents which since 1997 have been declared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to have the "potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety". The agents are divided into HHS select agents and toxins affecting humans; USDA select agents and toxins affecting agriculture; and overlap select agents and toxins affecting both.
  • Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Response Act

    PHS and BPR Act established procedures for preparation for bioterrorism and public health emergencies including security risk assessment of individuals who have access to the select agents and toxins. Any person who meets the criteria of a "restricted person" as defined in the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, must not be afforded access to select agent materials.
  • Bioartist Steve Kurtz Arrested

    Bioartist Steve Kurtz Arrested
    After finding his wife dead in their Buffalo home, Steve Kurtz (bioartist) is detained by police after the FBI is called to investigate his scientific equipment (beakers, petri dishes with "suspicious substances"). He is detained for 5 days and investigated on charges relating to "The Biological Warfare Statue". He was dismissed of all bioterrorism charges in July 2004.
  • "The Era of Garage Biology is Upon Us"

    Rob Carlson writes in an article in Wired: "The era of garage biology is upon us. Want to participate? Take a moment to buy yourself a lab on eBay."  He then set up a garage lab the same year, working on a project he had previously worked at the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, California. https://www.wired.com/2005/05/splice-it-yourself/
  • Jason Kelly Creates "OpenWetWare"

    Jason Kelly Creates "OpenWetWare"
    OpenWetWare was created by Jason Kelly- a graduate student at MIT on April 20, 2005. Initially, it served as a private lab wiki for the labs of Drew Endy and Tom Knight at MIT. The site was opened up to allow any lab to join on June 22, 2005. Their site describes their mission as "an effort to promote the sharing of information, know-how, and wisdom among researchers and groups who are working in biology & biological engineering https://openwetware.org/wiki/Main_Page
  • DIYBio Organization is Founded by Jason Bobe and Mackenzie Cowell

    DIYBio Organization is Founded by Jason Bobe and Mackenzie Cowell
    DIYBio provides resources for those in the do-it-yourself biology community. It maintains a directory of local groups encompassing both meetup groups and organizations maintaining community laboratory space, and a weekly blog listing events hosted by these organizations. Their website also hosts safety information including ethics codes developed by the community and an "ask a biosafety professional" feature, as well as DIY instructions for making several types of laboratory equipment.
  • FBI Begins to Engage with DIY Bio Community

    FBI Begins to Engage with DIY Bio Community
    Beginning in 2009 the FBI engaged active members of the DIYbio Google Groups mailing list much like they engage scientific boards at universities and businesses. The dialogue focused on safety issues and aimed to instill a sense of self-policing in the ad-hoc online community. Because DIYbio and biohacking takes place on an international level, the FBI is limited in its ability to monitor and investigate all activity.
  • Ginkgo Bioworks is Founded by Jason Kelly and Tom Knight

    Ginkgo Bioworks is Founded by Jason Kelly and Tom Knight
    Ginkgo Bioworks was founded by Jason Kelly (PhD Bio Engineering MIT) and Tom Knight (Senior Researcher at MIT and Synthetic Biologist) The company designs custom microbes for customers across multiple markets. The company specializes in using genetic engineering to produce bacteria with industrial applications. https://www.ginkgobioworks.com/
  • Genspace opens DIY BioLab in New York City

    Genspace opens DIY BioLab in New York City
    Genspace is a non-profit organization and a community biology laboratory located in Brooklyn, New York. Stemming from the hacking, biohacking, and DIYbio movements, Genspace has focused on supporting citizen science and public access to biotechnology. Genspace opened a Biosafety Level One laboratory in December 2010.
  • More DIY BioLabs

    Bio Community labs such as BioCurious (Oakland California) begin pop up around the United States. In the same year Canada saw it's first biohacking lab, Victoria Makerspace, emerge out of Victoria, British Columbia.
  • Regenesis by George Church & Ed Regis covers DIYBio

    Regenesis by George Church & Ed Regis covers DIYBio
    In Regenesis, Harvard biologist George Church and science writer Ed Regis explore the possibilities—and perils—of the emerging field of synthetic biology.The last chapter "Moving Forward in Synthetic Biology: DIY Biology" concentrates on issues/excitement surrounding DIY Bio, Biohacking and the emergence of Community Bio Labs like Genspace (NYC).
  • UC Berkley vs. Broad Institute CRISPR Patent War Begins [https://www.theverge.com/2016/12/6/13857674/crispr-gene-editing-patent-dispute-berkeley-broad-mit-jennifer-doudna-feng-zhang](http://www.timetoast.com)

    UC Berkley vs. Broad Institute CRISPR Patent War Begins [https://www.theverge.com/2016/12/6/13857674/crispr-gene-editing-patent-dispute-berkeley-broad-mit-jennifer-doudna-feng-zhang](http://www.timetoast.com)
    The Berkeley team (Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier) and its collaborators first filed a patent application in May 2012 for the basic CRISPR technology. In December 2012, Broad Institute (Feng Zhang and George Church) and their researchers filed an application but paid an extra fee for an expedited route to patent CRISPR in eukaryotic cells—those in plants, animals, and people. The Broad was granted several patents.
  • Josiah Zayner Earns PhD in Biophysics from the University of Chicago

  • Aaron Traywick Earns Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Montevallo University (Alabama)

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    Josiah Zayner Works as NASA

    After earning his PhD, Josiah served as a post-doc researcher at NASA’s Ames Research Centre. He was awarded a fellowship working as a Synthetic Biologist at NASA; engineering bacteria to break down and recycle materials for long-term space travel. However, increasing frustrations left Josiah feeling disillusioned. Josiah left the Ames Research Centre after two years. “Nobody did shit all day." He has said.
  • Josiah Zayner Creates "The ODIN"

    Josiah Zayner Creates "The ODIN"
    In 2015 Josiah Zayner started his own company, The ODIN. The mission of The ODIN is to create DIY Bio kits and experiments that can be shipped to consumers to use in the comfort of their own homes. The ODIN, self-describes as an organization that makes “genetic engineering and science easy and affordable”. George Church (Harvard) signs on as "Business and Science Advisor"
  • The ODIN raises $71,496 for DIY CRISPR Kit

    The ODIN raises $71,496 for DIY CRISPR Kit
    The ODIN raised over $70,000 via crowfunding (IndieGoGo) to create a DIY “CRISPR” kit. On The ODIN’s official website, the DIY CRISPR kit is marketed to potential buyers asking this question: “Want to really know what this whole CRISPR thing is about? Why it could revolutionize genetic engineering? This kit includes everything you need to make precision genome edits in bacteria at home including Cas9, tracrRNA, crRNA and Template DNA.” The kit retails for $159 (USD).
  • Josiah Zayner Films "Gut Hack" - a DIY Microbiome Transplant experiment

    Josiah Zayner Films "Gut Hack" - a DIY Microbiome Transplant experiment
    Josiah Zayner, documented by a film crew, performs a full body microbiome transplant on himself, including a fecal transplant, to experiment with microbiome engineering and see if he could cure himself from gastrointestinal and other health issues. The microbiome from the donors feces successfully transplanted in Zayner's gut according to DNA sequencing done on samples. https://vimeo.com/214523759
  • Four Thieves Vinegar Goes "Above Ground"

    Four Thieves Vinegar Goes "Above Ground"
    After being in the works "underground" for about 2 years - Michael Laufer decides to bring his collective Four Thieves Vinegar into the spotlight. The reveal took place at the HOPE conference (Hackers on Planet Earth) in New York City. There, in front of an audience, Michael and 4TV presented the “Apothecary Microlab”. https://fourthievesvinegar.org/
  • 1st Annual Biohack the Planet Conference

    1st Annual Biohack the Planet Conference
    Josiah Zayner & Karen Ingram put on the 1st Biohack the Planet Conference in Silicon Valley. The conference also took place in 2017 and upcoming 2018 - the goal being a gathering biohackers to share ideas, platforms and projects. http://biohacktheplanet.com/#
  • Four Thieves Vinegar Creates The Epi-Pencil

    Four Thieves Vinegar Creates The Epi-Pencil
    Four Thieves Vinegar releases instructions on how to create your own DIY EpiPen they dub “The EpiPencil”. A cheaper alternative to the EpiPen, the EpiPencil is a “build your own” Epinephrine auto injector that would cost around than $30 to make with full installation and tips available online https://fourthievesvinegar.org/blog/2016/09/introducing-the-epipencil
  • Ascendance Biomedical is Created

    Ascendance Biomedical is Created
    Ascendance Biomedical (ABM) was officially formed in 2016 with a mission to take experimental gene therapy to a new level. Original members included Demian Zivkovic Matt Johnston and Kelly Martin Others would soon join in the venture including biohacker Gabriel Licina and biologist Andreas Strumer. Another joining member of ABM was Tristan Roberts - a man who was diagnosed with HIV in 2010 and would act as a guinea pig or “Patient Zero” to test ABM’s first radical gene therapy treatment.
  • The ODIN Sells "Genetically Engineer Any Brewing or Baking Yeast to Fluoresce" Kit, Prompts call from FDA Officals

    The ODIN Sells "Genetically Engineer Any Brewing or Baking Yeast to Fluoresce" Kit, Prompts call from FDA Officals
    The FDA were concerned Josiah and the ODIN were selling the Fluorescent Yeast as a "food additive". They stated they were less concerned with the DIY Genetic Engineering aspect of the project rather the fact buyers were intended on consuming the product. After a lengthy phone call, Josiah agreed to change his marketing strategy and product description. The kit still sells online for $80. Phone call: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHOvMf0tyIk
  • Aaron Traywick joins fertility service 'Inovium Rejuvenation'

    Aaron Traywick joins fertility service 'Inovium Rejuvenation'
    In January of 2018, a fertility service called “Inovium Rejuvenation” released it’s first promo video, marketing itself as “the world’s first clinical trial to restore fertility and health using the body’s own natural processes”. Aaron appears halfway through the video, accompanied by the title “Managing Director”. https://inoviumrejuvenation.com/about-us
  • CRISPR Patent Awarded to The Broad Institute of Harvard....For now

    CRISPR Patent Awarded to The Broad Institute of Harvard....For now
    U.S. Patent & Trademark Office releases a long-awaited decision in the contentious patent battle over CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology yesterday. The Broad Institute of Harvard University & MIT (Feng Zhang & George Church) called the outcome a victory, while the University of California, Berkeley (Doudna and Charpentier) put on a smile and sent a different message: We’re just getting started. https://cen.acs.org/articles/95/i8/CRISPR-patent-dispute-ends-well.html
  • The ODIN faces "contamination" controversy

    A German journalist sends The ODIN a document of results analysis from the Bavarian Bureau of health and food security, dated March 15, indicating that the one of the DIY CRISPR kits they had ordered contained toxic category 2 bacteria http://www.makery.info/en/2017/04/04/lallemagne-lance-la-bataille-juridique-contre-le-kit-diybio-crispr-cas9-de-the-odin/
  • European Centre for Disease and Control Holds an Emergency Rapid-Risk Assessment for ODIN Kits

    The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control held an emergency Rapid Risk Assessment Conference concerning “risks related to the use of do it yourself CRISPR-associated gene engineering kits”. The emergency panel was sparked by rumours that a DIY CRISPR ODIN kit including a pathogenic bacteria had been shipped to a consumer. The ECDC ruled that, although the risk of a contaminated kit is low, people without professional lab skills should not unknowingly be handling such materials.
  • Gizmodo "DIY Pharmaceutical Revolution is Coming (if it doesn't kill us first) [https://gizmodo.com/a-diy-pharmaceutical-revolution-is-coming-if-it-doesn-t-1796865404](http://www.timetoast.com)

    Gizmodo "DIY Pharmaceutical Revolution is Coming (if it doesn't kill us first) [https://gizmodo.com/a-diy-pharmaceutical-revolution-is-coming-if-it-doesn-t-1796865404](http://www.timetoast.com)
    Kristen V Brown of Gizmodo covers The Four Thieves Vinegar Collective (Michael Laufer) and DIY medicine like The EpiPencil. Interviews conducting with nay-sayers hint at the potentially lethal dangers associated with DIY pharma. "It would also be easy to hurt yourself while making the drug, because chemistry is, well, kind of dangerous sometimes. It would not be a good idea to DIY pharmaceuticals. There is no way that I can see to make this process recommended.”
  • Ginkgo Bioworks enters $100 million partnership with Bayer Pharmaceuticals

    Ginkgo Bioworks enters $100 million partnership with Bayer Pharmaceuticals
    Ginkgo enters into a $100 million partnership with the global health-care and agriculture giant Bayer to engineer microbes capable of producing fertilizer for crops, like corn, wheat and rice. Bayer, at the time, was in the process of buying Monsanto - the world’s biggest supplier of genetically modified seeds.http://www.press.bayer.com/baynews/baynews.nsf/id/Bayer-Ginkgo-Bioworks-forces-sustainable-agriculture-forming-company-USD-million-Series-A
  • Global Community BioSummit at MIT

    Global Community BioSummit at MIT
    The first Global Community Bio Summit was held at MIT in Boston- "Our mission is to provide a space for the global community of independent and community laboratories to convene, plan, build fellowship, and continue the evolution of our movement. Programming topics include: diversity and inclusion, sharing and learning, bio security, enabling technologies, bio art and design, and more." Josiah Zayner, Michael Laufer George Church and Andreas Strumer (Ascendance Biomedical) were in attendance.
  • Josiah Zayner Self-Injection Stunt

    Josiah Zayner Self-Injection Stunt
    In a public display at the SynBio Beta Conference in San Francisco, Josiah attempted to edit his DNA with CRISPR. In front of dozens of onlookers, he leaned against a table and jabbed a long needle into his left forearm. the ODIN released a “DIY Human CRISPR Guide” online which was a set of instructions and tips for conducting self-CRISPR experiments at home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6A9bbDI6fo
  • Tristan Roberts Injects Homemade HIV Treatment

    Tristan Roberts Injects Homemade HIV Treatment
    Tristan Roberts sat on a couch with Aaron Traywick and injected himself with a gene therapy meant to treat his HIV N6. Independent journalist Ford Fischer filmed and broadcasting the footage live over Facebook
  • FDA Issues a Warning About Self-Administration of Gene Therapy

    FDA Issues a Warning About Self-Administration of Gene Therapy
    Following The ODIN and Ascendance Biomedical's self-administering CRISPR Injections- the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a harshly worded statement cautioning consumers against DIY gene-therapy kits and calling their sale illegal. “The sale of these products is against the law. FDA is concerned about the safety risks involved,” the agency said. https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/CellularGeneTherapyProducts/ucm586343.htm
  • Aaron Traywick Injects Herpes Vaccine At BDYHAX Conference in Austin Texas

    Aaron Traywick Injects Herpes Vaccine At BDYHAX Conference in Austin Texas
    In February 2018, at a three-day body hacking conference in Austin, Texas (BDYHAX), Aaron dropped his pants and injected himself with a “vaccine” to cure herpes. Later it came to light that, in fact, the HSV vaccine Aaron had brought to the conference wasn’t actually ready in time. So, according to biohacker Josiah Zayner, “nobody knew what he injected”.
  • Josiah Publicly Disses Aaron Traywick's "DIY CRISPR injection"

    Josiah condemns Aaron Traywick’s behaviour in a public Facebook post. He took issue with Traywick calling his public injection a “cure” for herpes, inciting false hopes for thousands of followers of Ascendance Biomedical. He continues to call out Aaron and Ascendance Biomedical for failing to follow proper scientific protocol (rigorous tests, preliminary experiments etc.) “This is not even science” he claimed on Facebook, “this is not even biohacking”.
  • Josiah Zayner Expresses Public Statement of Regret https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/02/biohacking-stunts-crispr/553511

    Josiah Zayner Expresses Public Statement of Regret https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/02/biohacking-stunts-crispr/553511
    In an interview with The Atlantic (and simultaneously in a public Facebook post) Josiah regrets starting a self-CRISPR trend. "Looking at my actions in the past, which unfortunately did include a public injection in a semi-ridiculous manner, I want to apologize in that I could have inspired people to think I was doing things on a whim when I was not”. Addressing Traywick directly he stated “You are not Good Will Hunting, you do not know enough to try these things alone not even I do”.
  • Aaron Traywick Files Lawsuit Against Josiah Zayner & Gizmodo

    Acting as his own lawyer, Aaron Traywick said that Josiah Zayner’s Facebook rant and Gizmodo's article had profoundly impacted his personal and professional life and his business interests. He said they had caused him and his company to suffer significant harm, “including financial losses, damage to reputation, humiliation, embarrassment, mental suffering, shame and emotional distress.”
  • Ascendance Biomedical Disbands

    Ascendance Biomedical Disbands
    Relations between members of ABM become bitter and resentful. The team accuses Aaron of over exaggerating ABM’s accomplishments, embellishing to the media and not giving the team members their promised pay. Arguments and confrontations ensue- captured on film by Vice reporters. A conference by members of ABM ensued - ultimately deciding it was best they left Aaron and his vision. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JiNedvN4U8
  • Lawsuit against Josiah Zayner & Gizmodo Dismissed

    Lawsuit against Josiah Zayner & Gizmodo Dismissed
    "As the remaining plaintiff, Aaron Traywick, has failed to amend the Complaint or otherwise communicate with the Court, the Court must dismiss this action. The complaint is hereby Dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction"
  • Aaron Traywick Found Dead

    Aaron Traywick Found Dead
    Aaron Traywick is found dead in a sensory deprivation tank (or, float pod) in Washington DC. No foul play is suspected however “drug paraphernalia” was apparently found at the scene. Details of Aaron's personal life begin to emerge through various news outlets- showing a darker side of the notorious biohacker. Many begin to conspire about the cause of death- government coverup or worse. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/19/style/biohacker-death-aaron-traywick.html
  • CRISPR Patent War Round 2

    CRISPR Patent War Round 2
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit announces it will hear oral arguments in University of California v. Broad Institute CRISPR patent Round 2. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/04/federal-appeals-court-hears-crispr-patent-dispute
  • Josiah Zayner announces the ODIN Biohackers Grant

    In May 2018, Josiah Zayner joined forces with Bryan Johnson/OS Fund to provide grants to biohackers around the world. They said the grant amounts were in the range of thousands of dollars, but could increase as more donors are found. This community building move shows a tonal shift in Josiah’s aspirations - to foster young biohackers and support their goals. Pitches will take place in August 2018 at the BioHack the Planet conference in Oakland, California.
  • New York Times Article: "As D.I.Y. Gene Editing Gains Popularity, ‘Someone Is Going to Get Hurt'" [https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/14/science/biohackers-gene-editing-virus.html]](http://www.timetoast.com)

    New York Times Article: "As D.I.Y. Gene Editing Gains Popularity, ‘Someone Is Going to Get Hurt'" [https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/14/science/biohackers-gene-editing-virus.html]](http://www.timetoast.com)
    George Church is interviewed by the NYT stating "“To unleash something deadly, that could really happen any day now- today,” In regards to self-experimentation (i.e. Zayner/Traywick) he claims “If they’re willing to inject themselves with hormones to make their muscles bigger, you can imagine they’d be willing to test more powerful things. Anyone who does synthetic biology should be under surveillance, and anyone who does it without a license should be suspect.”
  • Gingko Bioworks Profiled on CNBC for Relationship with Bill Gates, Bayer and Monsanto

    Gingko Bioworks Profiled on CNBC for Relationship with Bill Gates, Bayer and Monsanto
    In May of 2018- the Boston-based synthetic biology start-up has raised $429 million, including from Cascade Investment, the asset management firm of Bill Gates, and is reportedly worth $1 billion. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/22/bill-gates-is-betting-on-this-synthetic-biology-start-up.html?__source=sharebar%7Ctwitter&par=sharebar
  • CRISPR Trial halted by the FDA

    CRISPR Trial halted by the FDA
    A trial to use the gene-editing tool CRISPR on sickle-cell patients has been put on hold because of unspecified questions from US regulators. CRISPR Therapeutics sought approval from the USDA in April to begin a human trial CRISPR study. However FDA ordered the company not to proceed with its study until it answers questions about its treatment.https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/611271/fda-halts-one-of-the-first-human-crispr-studies-before-it-begins/