Let’s say you want to do a little “do-it-yourself” biological tinkering. Maybe you have an idea to make bacteria that can sense or even break down mercury in the environment. Or you want to attract funding for your start up with a few choice experiments. Or you just always wanted to do some biology. Where can you turn?
For people like me, it’s easy. I work for Stanford’s Department of Genetics and so if I were so inclined, I’d have access to the labs there. But this obviously isn’t a typical situation.
For everyone else (at least here in the Bay Area), there is an organization called Biocurious. They are an open lab located in Sunnyvale where you can go and do some biology experiments.
For a monthly fee (currently around $100/month for a year subscription) they provide the equipment, a lab bench and office space. You also get free classes from experts to help you get started.
This lab space is great for folks with some previous lab experience and/or who have an idea of their own they’d like to get started on. The equipment is all there for them to get started and they even get 15% discounts on any reagents they need. Stuff like restriction enzymes, Taq polymerase, nucleotides, etc.