Main respository for documentation related to the 2017 Biomaker Challenge
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Biomaker Challenge 2017

Biomaker Challenge Banner

Biomaker Challenge is a four-month programme challenging interdisciplinary teams to build low-cost sensors and instruments for biology. From colorimeters to microfluidics and beyond, we’re looking for frugal, open source and DIY approaches to biological experiments. For more information on eligibility and making an application see the SynBio SRI website.

Link to Ideas (a collection of project ideas looking for collaborators)

Link to Collaborators (a collection of people who are interested to help with projects)

Using github and keeping in touch

Github is the primary means of organising and documenting the projects, you will need to:

Once you're set there are two ways you can interact with other Challenge participants and the coordinating team:

  • Join the chat at - this is a chat room for asking quick questions and you will login using the same github account.
  • Make comments on or raise an issue in this main repository or any of the project repositories once created.

You can also email and sign up to the announcement mailing list below

Join mailing list

Updates so far

Suggesting an idea

Add information to an existing description Some descriptions of issues were very short - please add as much detail and additional skills required or ways to participate as possible! You can add a comment to the issue and once you're added to the Biomaker organisation, you can edit the original.

Add a new idea! Add an issue to this GitHub repository. Once a Biomaker Coordinator sees this and adds you to the organisation, you'll be able to label and assign people to the project. 

Offering help on an existing project idea Discuss with the contact person for an idea either via the relevant issue or by email (contact details or links to find them should be in the project description). 

You will receive notifications about comments on issues you've commented on. Make sure your notification settings are set to your preferences.

Offering to collaborate

If you would like to offer your time and skills as a collaborator, you can either get in touch with specific projects as above or submit a profile as an issue so people can find you to ask for help.

Issue title structure '[Your Name] Skills: [list of main skills]'

Suggested Content

  • Name:
  • Organisation and Department (if applicable)
  • What would you like to learn?
  • What can you teach people?


We are pleased to be able to offer the following in-kind reagents and hardware to teams above and beyond the Biomaker Toolkit, thanks to generous sponosrship from ARM Ltd and New England Biolabs. Where numbers are limited, the Biomaker Challenge Coordinators will allocate the items on application merit.

Choose up to three different kits:

  • NEB® Golden Gate Assembly Mix (NEB #E1600S)
  • BioBrick® Assembly Kit (NEB #E0546S)
  • NEBuilder® HiFi DNA Assembly Master Mix (NEB #E2621S)
  • NEBuilder® HiFi DNA Assembly Cloning Kit (NEB #E5520S)
  • Q5® High-Fidelity 2X Master Mix (NEB #M0492S)
  • Quick-Load® Purple 2-Log DNA Ladder (NEB #N0550S)
  • NEB 5-alpha Competent E. coli (NEB #C2987I)

5 NXP FRDM KL25Z mBed boards