DIY Spectro

UPDATE: This project has been lifted out of the stone age and into the information age, with Arduino/Python based automation. Check out DIY Spectro II!
For the last while I have been concentrating on a project: developing an easily built spectrophotometer for low budget and DIY laboratories.

Irrigationless Urban Food Production

Image credit to Mike Low - click the image to see his aquaponics site

Hackspace Research Update

Since 2007 there has been a radical growth in the application and reach of hacker culture. No longer limited to the computer underground, principles of the hacker ethic now pervade contemporary corporate software development and the backbone one of the world's largest economic infrastucture, the internet. This comes as no surprise because many experts and leading professionals in the field of computer science are also leaders of the hacker subculture.

Why techno-social intervention?

The tools of biotechnology have been used for the past three decades
within a very limited socio-economic regime. The logic of innovation
and competition within venture capitalism commodifies and privatizes
humanity's common genetic resources placing control of vast industries
like agriculture and medicines in the hands of the few. Companies in
this environment innovate new technological interventions to increase
market share and profit and in doing so often degrade our commons and

ArkFab BioLab

Two weeks ago we received our first micro-investment for a biotech spin-off. Liam and his business partner, Jonathan Tescher, will be launching a mushroom business, Imperial Mushrooms, out of the ArkFab BioLab. The BioLab build-out is currently underway and will be the first of our collective's laboratories. We envision producing mushroom spawn, yeast cultures for brew not bombs (BNB), cheese for the local dairy coop, rhizopus for FNB tempeh, public health bioassays, and in the future algae and kombucha bioreactors and other commons biocultures.

The Edgewood ArkFab House

ArkFab is now operational. We have a location and several projects underway. Last week Liam moved into the ArkFab house located in the Edgewood neighborhood of East Atlanta. He is excited to join the collective house started by Iuval Clejan and Dav Frayne.

Marshall Forest Preserve & Soil Proteomics

a cricket on an Amanita caesarea

ArkFab Collective

The ArkFab Collective is an inter-disciplinary worker cooperative that uses biology to make healthy cities and useful technologies.


Building the Ark, from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) ArkFab is an appropriate biotechnology blog written by Liam Rattray. ArkFab is...More >>

US Food Bill, SB510, Threatens Local Food Sovereignty

Make small local producers of food criminals and deregulate the industrial food system. Make seed savers the source of contamination and deregulate the GM seed industry. Senate Bill 510 threatens local food sovereignty by putting all farms and food under the administration of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

LuciaStoves and Dual-Power Steam GenSets

LuciaStoves are dual-use biomass gasification stoves that have 96% combustion efficiency. 10 litres of wood pellets produce only 50 milliliters of ash... truly. When running in char mode the stoves produce biochar which is the only feasible method of carbon sequestration currently available. Biochar from millions of households using these simple stoves could reduce emissions through avoiding emissions from inefficient stoves and burying biochar in soil as a soil amendment by 40 million tons a year. Or about the amount of emissions from a small first world country such as Ireland.

ArkFab Innovation Foundation

We now live in a complex world. Over the past 200 years globalization has
increased our interconnectedness while industrialization has increased our interdependencies. The global division of labor between and within nations has created
a diversity of economic and social roles for humanity never before seen and by
compelling us to leave our natural habitats the city now claims the majority of
Homo sapiens. Humans and the environments we fundamentally rely on for our
survival are now struggling to keep up and adapt to the difficult implications of

An ATL Community Algae PhotoBioreactor for Health, Climate and Soil!

Post-industrial society is killing us slowly. We live in an environment of pervasive toxicity. Our primary line of defense in resisting the effects of mutagens and other physiological system disruptors is our diet. Eating fresh organic food provides our bodily systems with much needed complex biochemicals like polyphenols and other phytochemicals. These chemicals aid in the regulation of our bodies and our adaptive response to chemical stressors like chlorinated hydrocarbons and heavy metals.

Transition Tech: Wood-Fired Automobile

I live in Atlanta and our city was built around the automobile. Transportation is arguably the most oppressive aspect of our city's infrastructure. Transitioning towards a post-scarcity carbon neutral city is very difficult for us and transitional technologies are needed to solve some of our unique problems.

Atlanta is known as the city in a forest; we have a lot of yellow pine here in Georgia, and Atlanta, although deforestation is a major issue, is no different.