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A diy bio lab for mammalian cell culture, genetic engineering, and whatever creations cross my mind

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Hello and welcome to this journey with me. you can be kept up to date by reading project logs and following to make sure you don't miss one.

The goal of this project is to acquire all the skills, tools, and knowledge required to do cell culture and genetic engineering experiments in the comfort of my own garage, and track that process here so I can do it with your help.

go to project logs if you want to keep up 



  • 1 × Tears
  • 1 × Redbull
  • 1 × Laptop
  • 1 × Too much free time

  • Project Log #12 "took a break"

    SapoRano12/16/2023 at 05:06 0 comments

    Okay, Okay, Okay it's been a minute since I did a log if a minute is 3 months long but I made some progress. For every problem I solve  I discover 10 more  ( ͡╥ ͜ʖ ͡╥)

    So I want to pick up where I left off

    I got all the things I was talking about in my last all those tools to grow E Coli but now I need a sterile environment to do my work in as i've found my technique and disgusting garage can't be solved used a open flame sadly so i've made some drawing for other options i've summed it up to laminar flow hood (shown below),

    Biosafety cabinet (shown below)

    Or a positive pressure room (shown below) 

    Naturally being broke all of these would be at least a little shit ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ 

    And that's an important factor that needs to be taken into consideration I have an idea that could work and be applied to all of these if i build the filtration system separately and use standard hvac equipment  to hook it up I could upgrade with time whenever I want to upgrade 

    The plan is a plywood box with a filter and a fan on one end and an hvac output on the other, I'm going to design it to use a higher quality hepa filter and a high  pressure fan to pull the air required for some of the larger designs. Also this design makes the whole thing modular and WAY easier to repair that in a AIO design 

    I have some spare wood, and might be able to shrink the design even further if I use a duct fan ( shown below)  so I could hook it up directly instead of having to buy an output for the box.

    this should work and shouldn't be too expensive as duct fans are ~$15 and the filter I have in mind is ~$25,  so 40 for a filter well hell that's a good deal. I probably could go cheaper but really don't wanna skimp out on the filter as it's so important to the performance of this thing.

    I also found a new incubator to use instead of the crappy chicken incubator I found an old food warmer (shown below) with adjustable temperature and ironically enough it works really well for bacteria so that was definitely a win for sure. 

    Now this is my new immediate goal because if i try to bite more than I can chew I choke for like a month and 1/2 before guilt tripping myself to get back to work. so yup i'm not gonna do too much.

    One thing I also wanted to restart was the youtube channel. I actually have some interesting shit I could film and I built a new workbench so I have a place to film it too. it would be fun and interesting and who knows? I definitely wanna come back from my hiatus from hackaday and get back to releasing these logs so that's for sure going to happen. 

    I'll try to have the filter built by the next project log if i'm lucky. It might be after that because I think I'm gonna try to record the video making and post it before christmas. that's the goal but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ who knows something might come up along the way but I'm gonna try really hard to get it done by then. 

    I'll be honest I only have 1 new year resolution and that goal was to do a project for every week in 2024 making 52 projects by the end of the year. and if the channel is coming back I might as well record and edit all the projects while I'm at it.

    Now money,

     I'm broke at it, I gotta admit. I might do tissue culture or grow plants as I already have to in later steps and the added income would be very nice indeed but it's an interesting challenge for now figuring out how to afford anything. I think i'm going to read plants from test tubes in my free time. I found this nice Monstera Obliqua on Ebay and I might buy some throw them in TC and secure a nice tidy profit down the line. TC and plants is definitely something I plan on doing for money soon and in general regardless

    I would really love to start making Diy Bio kits (example shown below), like very good high quality ones...

    Read more »

  • Project log # 11 "tears of mediocracy"

    SapoRano09/02/2023 at 02:52 0 comments

    Okay Okay Okay 

    so I need to slow down a little 

    the plan is still 

    1. grow E.coli gene in E.coli same thing in agrobacterium 

    4.culture plants 

    5.modify plants 

    now I'm making a list for steps one and two focusing on one so now I need the BARE basics so what do I need to grow E.coli?

    I have a list currently but hackaday is stupid and I can't upload files so I'm just gonna copy paste 

    NameCo stQuantityDIY/BUYLinkNotes
    Pipette kits$99.001BUY and reliable
    Microcentrifuge 10krpm 1.5ml$98.991BUY way in hell im DIYing this
    centrifuge 4000rpm 15ml$60.001BUY as above
    autoclave (pressure cooker)$49.951BUY as above
    Incoluating loop$8.991BUY and reliable
    microcentrifuge tube$18.9910,000BUY
    glass vials$5.7312BUY agar stabs
    15ml tools$18.99100BUY
    syringe filter$28.69100BUY
    erlenmeyer flasks$19.996BUY make media somehow
    autoclave tape$24.905BUY yes
    uvc bulb$20.991BUY yes
    torch$14.971BUY yes
    Heat block$35.001BUYboughthot
    cold shock$10.001DIYmadecold
    refrigeratorFREE1FOUNDFOUNDcool yes
    freezerFREE1FOUNDFOUNDvery cool yes
    Gel Electrophlorisis~201DIYdiyjust gonna use a dc power supply to make pretty easy
    >td >?1DIY/BUY not surediyhave no idea maybe ebay maybe diy
    microscope 40-1000x$78.991BUY small yes
    gene gun~1001DIYdiy found a couple guidesounds cool and fun
    clean space~not sure1DIY over to hackaday to catch up with plan have somthing in the works

    Okay so I just need something to sanitize them something to grow it in and something to freeze them in 

    Just those steps 

    I'm going to make a new list for the tools required just to do those  

    Pipette kits
    inoculating loop
    bunsen burner
    petri dishes
    LB Broth

    So from this list I have the Incubator and the petri dishes 

    Of course I will be needing other reagents but those are the most important 

    The plan is to use a bunsen burner to generate a aseptic area for culturing cells in the beginning just for startup but 

    But I gotta stop procrastinating I don't know why but my brain just want to push it away as hard as it can no matter what I wish I knew why...

    Read more »

  • Project Log #10 "a little change"

    SapoRano08/26/2023 at 17:51 0 comments


    So I made a small change more reflective of what I want to do

    The truth is that my goal from the beginning was to modify plants for the good of humanity

    So gotta get started somehow 

    I just added a few small plant related things

    It's all stuff i was planning to do anyways 

    So this is fun gave myself more work yay

    anyways let's see what to talk about 

    I got the heat block It work I tested it and everything

    The new vid should be out in a couple hours if i'm lucky

    My audio is bad so I need to find a audio closet or smth

    It will get better with time trust me

    I think my goals right now are to

    1.grow and freeze E.coli a gene in E.coli 

    3.tissue culture a plant 

    4.either insert genes in plant or express gene in bacteria 

    And then the sky's the limit 

    I have so much I gotta do at the same time

    I'm still clearing out the garage but I have made major progress , I'm nearly finished 

    Still thinking on the air purifier I'm getting closer to it day by day 

    But i can't clean a nasty f****** garage with a air purifier with so much junk in it but we will stay working 

    Also i've been reading some papers and think its time i reveal my plan

    The end END goal is to genetically engineer amaranth so it is easier to grow brings higher yields and is richer in vitamins and minerals so i can send it off to refugee camps and cure the presence of anemia 

    So how will we get to that point 

    Well first I need to get all the equipment collected and finished 

    Once that is finished I need grow some plant in culture just to get my hands in it 

    Then we need to figure out the hormone rations for amaranth which the paperwork on is non existent but i found a old protocol for spinach which is related to amaranth so we will start there 

    After which its just the trial and error of designing plasmids and putting them into the plant 

    That's the plan for now it will probably change in the future at some point 

    Go to my channel new vid in a couple hours 

    Go to patreon so I can be less broke 


  • Project log #9 "It's all comin together"

    SapoRano08/22/2023 at 05:39 0 comments


    So I finally have almost all the hardware to grow E.coli and make them competent

    I'm using the frozen pea technique for the ice bath  

    (a box full of frozen peas)

    And I've been looking into a way to make a heat block for a while

    I was about to make one and have a friend with a drill press make the holes into the aluminium and just go through the trouble of making it myself 

    But I found a working heat block with free shipping and a return policy on ebay for $35!

    If it works that will be everything I need for the growing and competency parts but I still need an autoclave and a air filter of some kind

    Now the autoclave is simple just a pressure cooker off amazon 50 bucks done deal 

    But the air filter is a bit for trouble 

    I've been thinking of a design that would work and this is the plan currently

    Using two merv 13 filter and two carbon filtration sheets sandwiched between (linked below)

    With a uvc bulb in the future should be all I need 

    From their all we do is take any fan any box throw it all together with some airtight silicone and mounts and diy easy air filter

    I might film a video of me making and put it on the channel but I probably won't  

    The Stanford Freegenes group haven't gotten back to me yet but the hope is still alive until they say no I guess.

    Still working on the youtube channel hopefully the next video will actually be intresting 

    I'm going to be rating incubators on a tier list based on how good they are for DIY bio

    Sounds fun but I still need to record the audio and edit, I finished the script though

    I'm still trying to sell as much as I can because I really need the money 

    Speaking of money go to my patreon I really need it 😭

    Also if you have any ideas or advice message me or comment them, all press is good press at the end of the day

    It's 1AM and I'm tired 


  • Project Log #8 "makin moves"

    SapoRano08/19/2023 at 21:10 0 comments


    While i've been thinking on the hardware side of things a lot

    I need to start worrying about actually getting all the plasmids and catalyst so I can actually do anything with my lab 

    Ive tried sending out some emails to the stanford freegenes project and am still waiting on a reply

    Everything is just so expensive 

    But I'm gonna make it work

    The goal currently is to grow my selection slowly 

    My first goal is just to buy some E.coli grow it and be able to freeze it 

    After that the goal is to make E.coli express GFP freeze that E.coli and extract some DNA 

    From there the skies the limit 

    Maybe grow some agrobacterium / build a gene gun for genetically engineering plants

    Or extract some TAQ polymerase for pcr reactions and future use 

    Who knows 

    RIght now im still selling some of the stuff in the garage and almost 

    Hopefully the extra money will help me buy reagents and tools 

    I need to print some test tube racks so if anyone has any good thingiverse or printables links comment them 

    But for now I need to get back to editing 




  • Project log #7 "WE'RE BACK BABY"

    SapoRano08/18/2023 at 20:44 0 comments


    I kind of did for a month in terms of the project logs (but we're not gonna talk about it)


    let's give a quick recap firstly 

    I have decided to switch to genetic engineering because I am too broke for cell culture 

    and also I need to start somewhere 

    I've changed the plan to adjust for such goals 


    before I show you the new plan 

    I have decided to start a science channel

    and patron to fund my endeavors 

    If you want to support

    I would be extremely thankful for any kind of contribution

    Now back to the new plan 

    From the last time this was seen it has grown in complexity a good deed but they are all needed regardless

    Now If i don't attack these problems in a direct line don't be mad opportunities come and go

    So har i have begun my collection of consumables and was able to successfully acquire and incubator 100% free of charge 

    It was an old chicken egg incubator that bleached the living H*** out of 

    It was a little giant incubator 

    Looks like this expect more crusty Little Giant Still-Air Incubator, Holds 41 Large Chicken Eggs  Or 120 Bantam/Quail Eggs, 9300 : Industrial & ScientificI tested it and it can hold a temp so for now it should work 

    Also I cleaned and bleached the fridge so it should be good for use 

    I've also installed pegboard in the garage and am organizing my tools as we speak im about 90% of the way finished it just takes a while waiting on the 3d printer 

    The autoclave is just a $50 pressure cooker and might as well be marked as finished 

    The centrifuges and Micropipettes are going to be gifts 

    I already have a freezer and and ice bath is as simple as a styrofoam box of frozen peas

    The heat block is also incredibly simple just a peltier and a thermocouple

    The pcr machine is going to be intresting 

    I can either snag one on ebay, build one, or buy one of the mini pcr machine kits 

    like this

    PocketPCR Kit Content

    The gel box setup is also incredibly simple ~50v power supply and some wires  and could honestly be made from the dollar store 

    A gene gun is pretty advance but their are some good kits and guide to making your own attempting it will be fun but worst case I just switch to agrobacterium

    that's about it for now  

    GO TO MY CHANNEL (imma try to upload soon)


    anyways peace

  • Project Log 6 "nowhere"

    SapoRano07/21/2023 at 05:52 0 comments

    took a break today and just went to the gym 

    comment or DM me if you have any ideas 

  • Project Log #5 "the cabinet"

    SapoRano07/19/2023 at 18:30 0 comments

    After some research I've decided on a positive pressure room instead of a biosafety cabinet, I don't plan on working with anything particularly dangerous and frankly the biosafety cabinet will cost more and give me a smaller working area overall.

    If I need 100% sterilization for certain projects I can fashion up a small laminar flow hood to give me a working area if contamination is a persistent problem.

    Also I'm doing research on the pros and cons of different filters and filter materials and have made a plan, the plan includes a multistep filtering process with a UVC bulb for when I need to sanitize the entire room. For now I'm most likely going to be using a multi step carbon fiber and hepa filter is a system similarly to the following infographic 

    The concept seems simple enough just pull air  through tiny holes but as all projects go it's bound to hit a hiccup I can't quite see yet.

    I plan on making the room out of a wooden frame with plastic sheets as walls. Will it look like a meth lab, yes but I doubt my neighbors care enough to call the police.

    The plan is to turn a third of the garage into a sterile lab, half of it into a workspace, and whatever’s left can just be a relaxed space for me and and friends(nonexistent) or family to just sit down and draw schematics or program. 

    I’m going to start seeing how much the lab will all cost in total. I don’t think it should cost too much after all it’s just wood, plastic, filters, and  a fan. 

    I haven’t stopped looking for what I could use the space for I but before I reach artificial life and the touch of my finger tips. Adding a couple intermediary steps would be a good idea. Such as turning fibroblast into pluripotent stem cells. 

    That would make it way cheaper to experiment and take some of the pressure off of each run, and know how biology is I will be needing as many chances as I can get. 

    That’s about it for for now I have things to do, peace.

  • Project Log #4 "for all"

    SapoRano07/19/2023 at 06:00 0 comments

    So I have a firm belief progress in the world in inevitable, yeah so my sister got hospitalized there's a 89.74% chance she'll be fine so I'm unbothered. I haven't felt I needed to stop my research.

    I went to the garage and am getting ready to sell everything I made a list and double checked it with my dad and am very excited to begin finally transforming the place. 

    I'm thinking about transforming an entire part of the garage into a positive pressure room that will be kept 100% sterile for lab work and the rest of the garage being turned into a space for incubators fridges and machichines and a general crafts and storage space. but from what I've seen from other DIYbio crowd online is that contamination isn't as big a deal as I was afraid of but I would still rather be safe than sorry.

    I wish the DIYbio crowd was bigger and more info on this stuff was available. I know their are groups but I don't have any near me. and I can find any places online where they congregate. I wish they had teamspeak or discord servers that had easy access because I could really use it right now..

    I don't wanna go overboard on the equipment because I still need to buy all the reagents and media I'll use. God biology is expensive lmao.

    I might setup a LLC and make a Thermo-Fisher account. 

    I so tired it's 2 AM peace.

  • Project Log # 3 "progress"

    SapoRano07/17/2023 at 21:28 0 comments

    I've been working on the garage (it's a big garage) and clearing it out to make space for the lab. My dad's a hoarder which for me is a good and bad thing because it gives more stuff to sell, but it gives more trash to deal with. He's been trying to clear it out for some time and was happy I took the initiative. He also said that I could have all the money from selling the literal Thousands of dollars of equipment that was in the garage and basement, so long as I dealt with it and took away the headache. so yay?

    While clearing the garage I've also been looking for tools, parts, and equipment I could use I found an air compressor if anyone has any idea of what I could do with that. I also lucked out big and found a brand new looking fridge. I think it was meant for drinks and soda cans and it has a glass door, but the racks are removable and the temperature adjustable so it's a great place for me to store my media and reagents. I also found a fan (It kinda looks like this) 

    I think it's meant for drying paint, it's extremely dirty. But it is compact with decent airflow so I might tear it apart clean and bleach the living crap out of it and use the fan for the Biosafety cabinet.

    I'm also thinking about just making a positive pressure room instead of a Biosafety cabinet I'm looking into the pros and cons of each and i'll see what i come up with after a little bit of research.

    I've been looking into what I could use this lab for and found some inspo. I think it would be really cool if I could mineralize osteoblasts and Heart muscles and make a little fish that could rhythmically move around in media, sounds pretty cool but I 100% got the idea from the thought emporium I gotta admit. But it really doesn't seem that hard in essence it's just a mini pacemaker to drive the muscles and something rigid you could grow them on (like a bone). I think if you grew them in a 2 step process where you grow bone cells on a structure and then mineralize them, after which you grow the muscle cells on another graft and put the 2 pieces together. But the media for each of the cells is specialized so i'm not sure how you could work around that, I'm not too worried that's future me's problem.

    That's it for now I'll be back soon enough.

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