Disrupting Cell Biology Hack Chat

From a styrofoam box to lab grade instruments

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 12:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Noah Tompkins, Sebastian Hadjiantoniou, and David Sean from Incuvers will host the Hack Chat on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 and noon PDT.

Time zones got you down? Here's a handy time converter!

Join Hack ChatA lot of today's most successful tech companies have creation myths that include a garage in some suburban neighborhood where all the magic started. Whether there was literally a garage is not the point; that modest beginnings can lead to big things is. For Incuvers, the garage was actually an augmented biology lab at the University of Ottawa, and what became the company's first product started as a Styrofoam cooler, a space blanket, and a Soda Stream CO2 cylinder, which we covered a few years ago

From that humble prototype sprang more refined designs that eventually became marketable products, setting the fledgling company on a course to make a huge impact on the field of cell biology with innovative incubators, including one that can image cell growth in real time.

What it takes to go from prototype to product has been a common theme in this year's Hack Chats, and Noah, Sebastian, and David will be here to talk about that and more. Join us as we discuss:

  • Finding the spark that turns an idea into an invention;
  • Identifying a market and figuring out how to tell them about your great idea;
  • Scaling up from prototype to production quantities; and
  • What kind of growing pains can you expect to feel?

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 2

    Lutetium06/05/2019 at 20:04 0 comments

    David Troetschel12:29 PM
    @Paúl who would care that much? Big Pharma?

    Paúl12:30 PM
    leaving an open port for future expansion is usually a good strategy

    sebastian12:30 PM
    @Paúl Anyone can do anything they want. Current experimental set ups won't prevent anyone from falsifying data

    sebastian12:30 PM
    what it would however, is immediately present a flag

    Saren Tasciyan12:30 PM
    @Paúl Is that a security flaw for RPi?

    sebastian12:30 PM
    as their data set would immediately be recognized as an outlier

    Paúl12:30 PM
    sorry, the neural net is unrelated to the raspberry pi

    David Troetschel12:30 PM
    or "intuitive interface"

    Paúl12:31 PM
    I mean that the RPi ecosystem is not a particularly "hard" one to crack or break.

    Paúl12:31 PM
    falsified data is a significant problem:

    sebastian12:31 PM
    Most data acquisition is done by a system fully customized.

    Saren Tasciyan12:32 PM
    RPi can't be even encrypted. SD card is all accessible

    sebastian12:32 PM
    So, in a sense, hack or no hack... doesn't really make a difference

    Saren Tasciyan12:32 PM
    Did you struggle with patents?

    David Sean12:32 PM
    that's the idea, it is meant to be accessible/hackable

    Noah Tompkins12:33 PM
    @Saren Tasciyan we have encountered a couple that we've had to circumvent, but overall it hasn't been a huge problem thus far

    Paúl12:33 PM
    ^ it would not be a primary issue, i agree. just something to think about

    David Sean12:33 PM
    We chose to keep using this setup over an OEM board to stay part of the community and to remain hackable and agile.

    sebastian12:33 PM
    @Paúl It is a problem. And we think creating our platform can help alleviate that. Because there's a huge trackable data set of their work

    Paúl12:34 PM
    how much bandwidth is really required for this type of data acquisition? would something even less expensive, like a Pi Zero, be sufficient?

    Paúl12:34 PM
    how are you keeping the cost of the optical stack down?

    David Sean12:34 PM
    for one, it would need wifi/ethernet (so pi zero-W)

    Saren Tasciyan12:34 PM
    @David Sean Love that! But I have to say that <1% of biologists are aware of the value of Open Source, Open Hardware, Hackability etc

    Paúl12:35 PM
    you should get in touch with the Melis lab, I bet they would love to try out your incubators!

    sebastian12:35 PM
    @Paúl We've specifically selected a single acquisition format. 20x, GFP

    Paúl12:36 PM
    interesting choice

    sebastian12:36 PM
    Based on my experience, this preliminary set up can acquire much of what people would need.

    RichardCollins12:36 PM
    If you would write out an agenda ahead of time, you can have a more successful discussion. If there various topics are important to this company's development and they are asking for help, you can break into smaller discussion groups. This software does not support organized discussions of that sort. If the purpose of this chat is to help expose HackaDay.IO members to better methods for commercialization, that can probably be done better by a formal presentation, more sensitive of people's time.

    Data collection "is" science - when you store, share, reproduce, verify, cross-link, encourage, teach and provide benefit to society.

    sebastian12:36 PM
    We won't pretend it encapsulates everything. But it's the beginning.

    David Sean12:36 PM
    We do a bit of image processing on the pi-side so a pi-zero may be pushing it

    Paúl12:36 PM
    how many people are on the team?

    sebastian12:37 PM
    6 people!

    Paúl12:37 PM
    good size!

    Paúl12:37 PM
    @RichardCollins are you part of the HaD/hackchat team or just sharing your input?


    Read more »

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 1

    Lutetium06/05/2019 at 20:03 0 comments

    Hello all, it's noon here on the West Coast and we're ready to kick off the Hack Chat. We're excited to have Noah, Sebastian, and David from Incuvers today, here to talk about how the company is "Disrupting Cell Biology" with some instruments that have some pretty deep hacker roots.

    Welcome, Incuvers folks! Think you can kick us off with a round of introductions?

    Paúl joined  the room.12:00 PM

    Noah Tompkins12:00 PM
    Hey guys! Thanks for joining us. For those who don’t know much about us, we are a startup based out of Ottawa, Canada called Incuvers and we’re about to release a live cell imaging incubator called IRIS that lets researchers to remotely monitor and record all their experiments. Our website is if you want to see more about what we’re all about!

    Paul joined  the room.12:01 PM

    sebastian12:01 PM
    We're here! and we're live!

    David Sean12:01 PM
    Hi all!

    Paúl12:01 PM

    zxzxzx010112:01 PM

    Taiwo12:01 PM

    Taiwo12:02 PM
    Let's get started...

    sebastian12:03 PM
    @Taiwo, let's !

    jonathan_woren12:03 PM
    hey where did the idea come from??

    I think the best way to kick it off is where I heard about the project that would become Incuvers:

    Taiwo12:04 PM
    Oh.. don't mind me.


    Get Biohacking with a DIY CO2 Incubator

    The [Pelling Lab] have been iterating over their DIY CO2 incubator for a while now, and it looks like there's a new version in the works. We've covered open source Biolab equipment before including incubators but not a CO2 incubator. Incubators allow you to control the temperature and atmosphere in a chamber.

    Read this on Hackaday

    sebastian12:04 PM
    ya. So that beautiful piece of styrofoam you see there was the original incubator

    Paúl12:04 PM
    How much of your business model is based on that of Makerbot?

    sebastian12:05 PM
    testing the standard quo on why incubators are so expensive

    Paúl12:05 PM
    I love the idea of "the YT of cellular research"!

    It's quite hackish looking

    @sebastian - Because they can be?

    sebastian12:05 PM
    We built it to see if we could get something working for a few hundred bucks that normally cost 8K

    sebastian12:05 PM
    and it worked!

    sebastian12:06 PM
    @Dan Maloney Exactly...

    Conrad12:06 PM
    Stick it to the man!

    Paúl12:06 PM
    are my questions showing up?

    sebastian12:06 PM
    The economics and business of science don't favour the scientist

    Yeah - I used to work in bio labs, and the insides of $100,000 instruments look like somebody's kid's science fair project.

    sebastian12:07 PM
    @Paúl What do you mean exactly my their business model >

    Noah Tompkins12:07 PM
    @Paúl yes they are!

    David Troetschel12:07 PM
    What is the professional status of HardwareX?

    Paúl12:07 PM
    Well, Makerbot started by selling their little Cupcake kits, and that spawned a whole series of other printers and a number of other businesses, e.g. thingiverse, shapeways

    Paúl12:08 PM
    Do you intend to follow that path, or to rephrase, where do you see Incuvers in 5-10 years?

    Noah Tompkins12:08 PM
    @Paúl glad you like the idea! Right now cell experiment photos and videos are completely decentralized. We're trying to fix that.

    Seems like the science suppliers all know that researchers have access to grant money and need to turn it into publications ASAP. Forces the economics and favors soaking them.

    *seeking them, as in high prices

    Noah Tompkins12:09 PM
    @Paúl we see Incuvers taking a pretty similar model to makerbot actually. The "youtube of cellular research" is also intended to kind of be a "thingiverse of cellular research"

    Noah Tompkins12:09 PM
    In 5-10 years we hope to provide as much if not...

    Read more »

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lucacarr78 wrote 06/06/2019 at 13:16 point

should be really cool

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Noah Tompkins wrote 05/29/2019 at 13:52 point

Can't wait for this!! Looking forward to some awesome discussion!

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