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Hello all, I'm Cathal Garvey, of Cork in Ireland. I am a strict vegetarian, a staunch environmentalist, and I am always focusing on ways of further diminishing my impact on the globe in ways that are as transferable to others as possible.
I am also an avid and enthusiastic geneticist and synthetic biologist, and I am known for loudly advocating community use of synthetic biology techniques to solve intractable world problems. Ultimately I feel that biotech will form a powerful part of any solution to poverty and sustainability worldwide, for example in areas of locally-produced medicine, crop improvement, soil enrichment and nutritional supplementation. I founded indiebiotech.com as a platform for me to aid and encourage amateur and small-startup biotech worldwide for this reason.
On Appropedia, I hope to add value in the grassroots-science and community bioengineering area, which is not just sorely lacking but entirely absent. It is my opinion that for a modern community, a "Bioapothecary" of sorts would be not only beneficial but somewhat essential. A "Bioapothecary" could tender to needs ranging from medical diagnostics to local crop improvement projects. I see little reason why a medium-scale sustainable community could not establish and supply a basic biolab of this sort. Indeed, much of the infrastructure for an off-grid bio-lab (fermentation/distillation setups for alcohol, acetic acid, purified water) is likely to have been addressed in a sustainable community already, and byproducts that may already be in use (lye from hardwood ash for soap, for example) could be diverted if found in excess to laboratory uses (making potassium acetate for DNA precipitations, for example).
Although I have little time to test many of the conjectures I hope to share here (which will be clearly labelled as tested or untested), I hope to do so someday in the future or to see others on Appropedia perhaps seeing fit to do so.
I also have a strong interest in distributed manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing, and have leveraged this interest in projects such as DremelFuge and a 3D printed minilathe (also Dremel-Powered). I hope to get my printer recalibrated soon and resume contributing open-source hardware designs for lab equipment of use worldwide. Ultimately I foresee a fruitful marraige of biotechnology and local manufacturing techniques, as fermentations are used to produce viable plastics from local waste biomass and printing is used to produce needed lab equipment.
In all other areas I hope to learn and contribute as much as possible, and I hope Appropedia can benefit from my personal projects and perspectives as much as I hope to benefit from those of other users.
I have founded the Biotech category in order to provide an area to work, and within that category I have started the following articles:
The DremelFuge article was not started by me, but I'm touched to have found it here already. Thanks!