Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life

I wrote a 600-word story for the AP about a do-it-yourself genetic engineer with a kitchen lab and a grand plan to protect the world’s food supply with jellyfish genes and yogurt. The article blew up online and drew international attention to the emerging biohacking movement.

"Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life" recounts my deep dive into the world of DIY DNA. The adventure took me from open-source software to bioterror to the quest to build new forms of life piece by genetic piece. At least as intriguing to me as the biology was the drive of these young scientists to forge new ways of thinking about how change and discovery happen in science, and about who gets to decide the way forward.

The book came out in hardcover in April 2011. It's received nice attention from NPR, USA Today, CNN, The Guardian, Boing Boing, Technology Review, New Scientist, Salon and many other media outlets and blogs. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation did a great show on DIY biotech that includes an interview with me.

I've had the privilege to speak about "Biopunk" at the Commonwealth Club, the Maker Faire and Techonomy 2011.

In April 2012, I arrived home to the pleasant surprise of a package containing the great-looking Japanese translation of the book. The U.S. paperback is due out in August 2012.