Hot News

Hackuarium Crowdfunding

posted Nov 11, 2017, 8:30 AM by Rachel Aronoff   [ updated Nov 13, 2017, 10:02 AM ]

Two AGiR! projects are currently running at Hackuarium, in particular, efforts to 'open-source' classic methods to look at DNA damage, in your own cheek cells!

 One of the methods, the micronucleus assay, is simple enough to be kid's play...
A 'JOM day'* boy (11 years old) in Hackuarium last week really enjoyed it all! 

(and his Mom said this picture of him counting cells on the hemocytometer can be shown here!)

To support such projects and help build our P1 lab properly, a crowdfunding campaign is actually running now in the We Make It platform, with less than 2 weeks to go!  Would you like to help support open public science, and also the genomic integrity projects at Hackuarium?  Could you help other local people benefit from increased access to and democratisation of the varied means to obtain knowledge?

At Hackuarium, we want to help everyone find solutions and understanding!  Through activities within trans-disciplinary teams, building collaborations as possible for further synergy, Hackuarium members do it together!

Check out:

Not just classic 'perks' are available, like T-shirts and bags, you should note, but opportunities to join in workshops (or 'ateliers' in French) can be chosen in thanks for your donation, for you and a friend!  
Come do something different!  
Other ways to contribute to your favorite project (hint!) are also possible, as you will see if you visit the we make it site for the Hackuarium campaign!

Here is a highlight from the campaign's main video plug, too, with the bioindicator for presence of raw sewage, E. coli, shining in metallic green on this 'levine media' plate:

If you click on the image above, you should access the full Hackuarium YouTube channel, with shorter videos on specific projects and also citizen science!

Spread the word
& take care!

* career day or 'journée de métiers' in French...

Citizen Science Prezi

posted Oct 23, 2017, 11:05 PM by Rachel Aronoff   [ updated Oct 25, 2017, 12:53 AM ]

An amazing few days in Brussels for the #OpenVillage Festival included a workshop on open-sourcing of DNA damage detection for citizen science!  Even though no one managed to count at least 1000 cheek cells for proper micronuclei quantitation, and the incubator wasn't available and so had to be 'hacked' (overnight floating in a box in the bathtub, so we had too many bacterial colonies even from tap water - but at least not E. coli! That, at least, was only found in the 'environmental samples from Leopold park!), it was very enlightening for all.

If you can make a moment to see a bit about what was presented, including some preliminary results from last summer's sampling campaign around Montreux and the current cheek cell micronucleus protocol, your questions and feedback are very welcome!

Here is a pic of a cheek cell with a micronucleus, just for your info. 

Presence of a micronucleus basically indicates that a big piece of chromosome broke away, sometime during a replication of the cell, most likely, and a little nuclear membrane went ahead and tried to form a little 'baby nucleus' around it.
These can happen normally, by the way, maybe a few per 1000 cells. 
So, it is only if there are very many, say 20 or more per 1000 cells, that these would be of concern!  
This is the great challenge of 'open-sourcing' such assays, to get good quantitation without too much 'human reporting bias' or uncontrolled panic!  :)   
For workshops, I thus recommend people working in pairs and scoring each other's slides!  
That helps for the first issue, at least!  :P

Take care!

moving forward in the fifth year..

posted Sep 22, 2017, 9:25 PM by Rachel Aronoff   [ updated Nov 5, 2017, 2:16 AM ]

Here is a new idea!

  What do you think??
  Thanks for your input and, as always...
Take Care!

 p.s.  Last day to provide your input will be 17nov17!  Thanks in advance!! 

Birthday Special!

posted Sep 6, 2017, 11:07 PM by Rachel Aronoff   [ updated Oct 22, 2017, 1:05 PM ]

There are only 9 days until AGiR! is officially 4 years old, and a series of 10 simple tips* to help protect genomic integrity are being tweeted, to help start off the 5th year right!
Check out and follow @AGIRgenomes 
take care!

*Update on 16 September!  These are now  compiled together, with references!
Scroll down to the turquoise banner mentioning starting the fifth year off right...

Project Page in Hackuarium Website

posted Jul 14, 2017, 4:21 AM by Rachel Aronoff   [ updated Jul 14, 2017, 4:22 AM ]

A new project page for the genomic integrity projects at Hackuarium is now out (thanks to Sam)!  While it does not excuse the delay to previous plans to really update *this* site, at least it is something...  Hope you also like it!  

Hackuarium is now moved into a newly renovated lab space, and there is lots going on.  We are starting to get some exciting results with cheek cells, moss life, and citizen science, and looking forward to more!  

Maybe *you* would like to join in some of these efforts!?   
Have a great summer!

Big Progress!?

posted Jul 3, 2017, 11:17 PM by Rachel Aronoff   [ updated Jul 3, 2017, 11:17 PM ]

The EWG sunscreen guide 2017 is out !
Of special note, their tips begin with this point:
'Sunscreen Should Be Your Last Resort'

Has huge progress been made?

Here is their list of tips:
Wear Clothes
Plan Around the Sun
Find Shade - Or Make It
Don't Get Burned
Sunglasses are Essential
Check the UV Index

The whole site promotes the idea of prevention, but some more focus on the 'why' (impacts of course on genomic integrity!) may be helpful...  as discussed previously... :)

Enjoy your summer and take care!!


Too Much!

posted May 15, 2017, 10:37 PM by Rachel Aronoff   [ updated May 15, 2017, 10:38 PM ]

So much has been happening, making 'hot news' posts has fallen by the wayside...
With visiting bio-hackers and students, funding efforts and more, it is all tons of fun, at least!

Follow the facebook pages for genomic integrity and Hackuarium, and check out these twitter feeds for more info:

The Hackuarium wiki pages about the genomic integrity projects (cheek cell chip and moss life) may also be of interest, hoping more people will join me in these efforts.

And of course you are welcome to contact me!  
(There is even a Contact form in the site menu!)

Take care!

Science for All!

posted Apr 18, 2017, 2:05 PM by Rachel Aronoff   [ updated Apr 18, 2017, 2:05 PM ]

22 April 2017, Earth Day, was chosen as the day to put more pressure on the powers that be to support science and thus benefit humanity!

This local event shows promise...   

Hope to see you out there, wherever you may be!

Busy Times!

posted Mar 24, 2017, 9:56 PM by Rachel Aronoff   [ updated Mar 24, 2017, 9:59 PM ]

Lots of Interesting seminars and a citizen science event in Paris the 25 March are keeping us busy!

Lennart Mucke, Ginger Zakian and Brenda Bass, for example, all here in Switzerland this month giving talks at various institutes (EPFL, UNIL, UniBern). 

The TGV to Paris comes next for the Hackuarium 'co-présidentes' RA and Vanessa Lorenzo (and also Hackuarium co-founder, Luc Henry, who is not in this picture, taken in our temporary space, during renovations, the other week...)

Look out for a new blog post sometime soon, with more info about these exciting seminars and events!

Team building!

posted Mar 12, 2017, 4:52 AM by Rachel Aronoff   [ updated Mar 13, 2017, 12:54 PM ]

Two university students are already joining in for genomic integrity experiments at the Hackuarium on cheek cells, and there is more interest from 'down under!'

Maybe you would also like to join the team?  

Ultimately, an international network doing micronuclei and comet cell assays is the idea, for big data that will answer important questions about environmental exposures contributing to (or protecting from) cellular DNA damage! 

Have a look at the project page, and you too can help develop the protocol!

The 'moss menagerie' project is also of interest - wait until you see the means some protozoa use to protect their genomic integrity!  :)

Maybe see you in Renens one Wednesday evening soon?!

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