When we think of garage scientists, eccentric, gray-haired Dr. Emmett Brown from Back to the Future might come to mind. But these days, garages seem a little old-fashioned -- especially when you can work in a tricked out DIY Bio Lab. DIY, or Do It Yourself, labs are for citizen scientists to collaborate. Rather than for profit, the projects are for learning -- things like building robots and printing live cells from 3-D printers. Collective membership dues make the fancy lab equipment affordable. And that’s the goal: make science more accessible, and less intimidating.
When scientists started studying genomes, and then sequencing them, their work was hailed as revolutionary. But, they were mostly done in connection with Caucasian genes and some African and East Asian populations. One of the races no one studied was the Persian race. That is, until last year. Stanford researchers received a $250,000 grant from a Persian American foundation called PARSA to study the Iranian genome. The idea is to learn more about the history and varied cultures of the Iranian people, and to explore the field of personalized medicine.