Ellen Jorgensen, the founder of Genspace, in Brooklyn, New York. Image credit: Erin Brodwin

A New Generation of Biohackers Make DNA Misbehave


In a corner of Genspace, a community biology lab in Brooklyn, New York, a woman in jeans and T-shirt splices the DNA of a bioluminescent jellyfish into the genes of an E. coli bacterium to make living wallpaper that glows. Across the way, five high school students cluster around a whiteboard, outlining their plans to build an organism that senses arsenic in drinking water. They are but a few of the country’s bio-hackers, teachers, librarians and artists gone rogue. They gather in a handful of public labs across the U.S. to play with organisms’ source codes and make DNA misbehave.

Continue reading.