When I got to the BioCurious lab yesterday evening, they were just cleaning up some old coffee makers. These, I learned, had been turned into sous vide cookers in that day’s class.
Sous vide cookers are sort of the gourmet rage at the moment. One normally costs several hundred dollars, but BioCurious offered a class for $117 where seventeen participants learned to build their own cookers and took them home at the end. They actually cooked steak during the class–and I’m told that it come out very good–but of course, sous vide cookers are also useful for biological experiments because they hold temperatures very steady.
The class used Arduinos to provide the temperature control for the coffee pots and other basic hardware, so the lesson was more about electronics than biology. But it’s a great illustration of several aspects of what BioCurious is doing: a mission of involving ordinary people off the street in biological experiments, using hands-on learning, and promoting open source hardware and software.
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