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DIYbio Toronto Message Board › Awesome Foundation Application

Awesome Foundation Application

Ewan
user 12048956
Toronto, ON
Post #: 22
I think it's about time we applied to the Awesome Foundation. $1000 will get us to the end of the PCR project, and it's a lightweight application process. I've written out an application, but wanted to post it here for feedback before sending it, which I'd like to do next week. Note that there are character limits. Guidelines and form are here:
http://blog.awesomefo...­
http://www.awesomefou...­

Suggested edits please! If everyone thinks this needs a lot of changes, we can start a google doc.

Tell us a little about yourself
DIY Bio Toronto is a new group pursuing citizen science and education in the field of biology. We have just started to reach critical mass, and are in an awkward phase where we have acquired just enough equipment and space to be serious, but don't quite have everything we need to start work. Once we finish equipping ourselves, the projects will start rolling and won't stop.

Tell us about your awesome project!
Our aims are simple:

1) Finish equipping Toronto's first and only citizen biology lab.
2) Use our new lab to check meat samples from around Toronto to see if they contain Unexpected Animal Content.
3) Continue using our lab to do awesome projects forever!

We've all seen the recent horsemeat-in-the-beef scandals, and we've had enough! Assurances are all very nice, but the only way we can know what's in our food is to check it ourselves. Using analytical biology techniques, we can test samples and detect DNA signatures from dogs, cats, horses, sheep, and cows. Our plan is to take samples from fast food outlets, street vendors, supermarkets, and butcher shops across the city.

This one project is all very nice, but it doesn't stop there. The equipment and supplies we need for this project will get us to a place where we can easily do more DNA detective projects like this one. We'll be able to do similar tests for fish, check ourselves for genes we didn't know we had, and even find out which of our neighbours' dogs it was that left a little present on our lawn. Genetically modified food doesn't even have to be labelled in Canada, but we won't need to wait for new laws when we can just check for ourselves.

If we get funded, DIY Bio Toronto will be officially up-and-running. Until then, we're just stuck reading textbooks and gazing sadly at our incomplete set of tools.

How will you use the money?
Reagent supplies: $400
Mini -20C freezer: $400
Mini Fridge: $100
Custom Primers for 5 species : $100
Glassware: $50
Balance: $100
Injection from remaining budget: -$150

Total: $1000

Stretch purchases, to replace member-owned equipment that we are currently borrowing:
OpenPCR system: $650
Gel electrophoresis system: $230
Set of precision micropipettes: $250
roberta b.
user 39448542
Toronto, ON
Post #: 22
we should probably include a wider range of projects. if we want to build a DIY lab, we should probably mention our educational purposes (e.g. our main purpose is to enhance the public's knowledge of science and to achieve a better understanding and appreciation of the processes occurring in a laboratory. planned experiments include....1) 2) 3) ).

ps. to clarify: I was thinking about the recent scandal of tuna that is not tuna. that's why I say, maybe we should include a wider spectrum of experiments

Ewan
user 12048956
Toronto, ON
Post #: 23
I actually specifically mentioned the fish testing project in the second section with a bunch of others, and mentioned education in the first section. Is something not reading right there? I thought up as many random projects as I could as things we might go on to do in the later.
Samantha C.
the_io
North York, ON
Post #: 17
This looks super!! Ewan it looks perfect. You are so awesome for taking the initiative to do this. $1000 could really get us rollin'!

Did they change it to a written application recently, or was it always this way? Thought I remembered it as a talk-pitch competition for some reason. Maybe that was a special event.
Ewan
user 12048956
Toronto, ON
Post #: 25
It's a written application, which then gets us a talk-pitch if they like it enough. The deadline's Sunday, so I guess I'll submit what I posted above.
roberta b.
user 39448542
Toronto, ON
Post #: 23
well, at least change "meat content" in 2) with "food content" so there are no ambiguities
Ewan
user 12048956
Toronto, ON
Post #: 27
Too late unfortunately, I already sent it in on Friday night. I think it'll stand us in good enough stead regardless. Thanks for the feedback people. Fingers crossed!
Ewan
user 12048956
Toronto, ON
Post #: 29
Well, the bad news is that we didn't win. The good news is that one of the Trustees, Linda Read, was so into our project that she gave us $500 on the spot! She also asked us to include a test for rat if we can manage it, but no pressure :)

The treasury now contains $923. While we'll need a little more to get everything we need, that's pretty respectable. See the 'Sourcing, purchasing & nifty links' thread for discussion on what to do with it.
Brendan H.
user 68875902
Toronto, ON
Post #: 2
Making primers for rat would be easy. When we get there I can make them whenever you need them.
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