Last month, I had the pleasure of speaking at a TEDx conference, where I explained the concept of citizen science to a very receptive and enthusiastic audience. Check it out, and please share it with your networks!
An ambitious new project wants to combat antibiotic resistance by getting you to run experiments at home to help identify new antibiotics.
Antibiotics have been a critical part of modern medicine for decades now, saving tens of thousands of lives. Unfortunately, their use, and in some cases overuse, has meant that many strains of bacteria have become resistant; or in other words, they have become much more difficult to kill. The US Center for Disease Control suggests that in recent years, more than 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths can be attributed to antibiotic resistance.
The Iliad Project wants to speed up the discovery of antibacterial drugs. Billing itself as the world’s first massively multi-scientist open experiment (MMOE), the project (www.the-iliad.org) is running a crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo to create science kits that can be shipped out to homes around the world. The kits contain things like gloves, mortars and pestles for grinding up samples, agar plates, pipettes, and of course, culture tubes. Instructions for how to run an experiment will be included in the kit.
The project is the work of Dr. Josiah Zayner, a blue-haired biophysics expert and NASA Synthetic Biology Fellow, and Dr. Mark Opal, a neurobiologist specializing in drug development; The Iliad is the International Laboratory for the Identification of Antibacterial Drugs.
The Indiegogo campaign goal is $42,000; you can click this link to see the campaign; the link above will eventually be repointed to the project once the funding phase is complete. You can obtain a basic kit for as little as $42, and a super kit for $105. If you simply wish to donate, rather than participate, there are options for that too.
I’m very, very excited to announce the launch of Be the Change: Saving the World with Citizen Science.
Available now at Amazon.com, the book has project listings and exclusive content you won’t find here at the site… so even if you’re a regular here, you’ll want to grab a copy to learn about new opportunities to participate.
And if you’re a huge citizen science fan who would love to see more people involved, it would be great if you would help me get the word out. Here’s how you can help:
Tweet about the book: Click this link
Copy this link and paste into your Facebook status and let your friends know: http://www.citizensciencecenter.com/get-the-book/
Forward that same link via email to your network: http://www.citizensciencecenter.com/get-the-book/
Leave an honest review at the Amazon listing: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GJCG62E
Let your favourite science personality know about it! Or if you have a connection to someone who should receive a review copy, please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It would mean a LOT to me if you did any or all of those things — thank you so, so much!
(P.S. – Don’t have a Kindle? Did you know you could read Kindles on your PC? Check it out here: Kindle for PC)
Crowdfunding is all the rage these days, and with good reason: it allows people to directly fund projects that they care about. The latest entry in the science crowdfunding arena is Microryza.
This website suggests that the average researcher spends 12 weeks a year writing grants, and that 80% of these applications are rejected.That’s a lot of time spent… not doing science.
When you donate to at Microryza, you receive updates directly from the researchers to see how they work and see how your donation helped. Current projects open for donations include a student-designed and built electric race car, a Magellanic penguin tracking initiative, and a project designed to eradicate human intestinal hookworms.
For additional crowdfunding sites, have a look at this list.