About Open Insulin

(This is the former topic “About the Open Insulin category”.)

This is the digital workspace for coordination and discussion on the Belgian chapter of the Open Insulin project. The global project is being executed in local biohacking labs across the globe, with the researchers collaborating online.

Do you want to get involved and contribute to the project? Read these simple steps on how to!

Physical meetups happen every two weeks on Wednesdays at 8pm CET in the ReaGent lab in Ghent. Everyone is welcome to join.

Next physical meetup: August 2nd, 7pm at Campus Schoonmeersen, building C

Calls with the international team happen every two weeks on Mondays at 9am CET. Pop Winnie an email to join: winnie [at] breakitdown [dot] eu. Next international call: July 31st, 9am on Zoom

The goal: develop the first open source protocol to produce insulin simply and economically

Access to affordable insulin is not a given. Many people in poorer communities or developing countries have no way of getting appropriate treatment for diabetes. This leads to serious ilnesses such as blindness, amputations, cardiovascular disease and ultimately coma or death.

There is no generic insulin on the market and prices are kept high by patent strategies of the few companies that control the market. We’re trying to change this by open sourcing the knowledge required to produce insulin.

As an obvious result this would allow production of cheaper insulin by generic suppliers. It might also enable home brewing of insulin or local microfactories in remote areas. Moreover, it can serve as a fertile soil for more open innovation and citizen science in research.

Still, the scope of this project is narrowly defined: develop and validate a production method for insulin. Patient testing and further engineering are not on the table before this important milestone.

The original Open Insulin team from Counter Culture Labs started out by attempting to modify E. Coli bacteria to produce the precursors of human insulin, which has proven successful. Next steps are purification and turning it into human insulin.

The actual lab work is done locally and the open conversation takes place online. This is the workspace for the Ghent group and we invite everyone to participate as we get the lab work underway.

Want to take part? Drop by at one of the open lab spaces in Oakland (US), Sydney (AUS) or Ghent (BE) or ping a team member to join the fortnightly conference call on Sunday/Monday.

To join this online workspace you can create an edgeryders account here. Edgeryders is a global network working to affect change in local and global environments. We use this open internet platform (self-hosted) to collaborate on different projects.