I was thinking I would just start with some history and background on how Biocurious evolved and general philosophical aims, and then, we may go open up for smoe questions, Raymond and Kristina are here, and we can talk about that jointly, we'er also going to have Kristina present later today about an overview of the biocurious mission and updates about what people have been working.

I became interested in 2001 when I was an undergrad, and was using Napster for the first time to just download unlimited quantities of music. I thought it was the most amazing turning point in history. What happens if instead of the top 40 artists, the few celebrities that could make a living from a blockbuster superstar, what happens when everyone has the ability to tap into this global distribution network, which the internet has enabled. It was from there, I was looking at copyrights and the pushback from the industry that was happening about trying to control file sharing, and try to force back the genie into the bottle. I was doing a bioethics seminar with one of Bush's bioethics councils. They were extremely conservative. They were anti stem cell research, anti longevity research, and I was fascinated by biology as the most significant technology of the 21st century and I encountered a number of folks who were making analogies about software, with the open source software movement. We noticed that the costs of sequencing were going down exponentially, and what happens when these enabling conditions happen?

What would it look like if we had this vibrant global community of innovators participating in this, in the same way that everyone has a laptop and an iphone or ipod? As was mentioned in 2009, one of the first FBI outreach, there was Meredith Patterson and others, it just has taken- there have been amateur meetings since April 2008, since Mac started DIYbio in Boston, and this was kind of a refuge of people who had gone through igem, and they didn't want to go through a phd and postdoc and doing the traditional path. They wanted something else. It took a long time for things to get stucky. The groups out in SF would kind of meet sparodically, and cuoldn't get the activation energy to rent a lab and put down the infrastructure. I moved out here in the end of 2009. Raymond told me that people came out here when there was a garage lab, and I met them.

What happened was that, I became a third roommate in this house with a garage in Mountain View. John Schloendorn had kind of done.. what had happened is that, he got in a fight with a boss at a time, and took his stuff out of a research lab where he was working, adn decided to move into a house and decided he would continue pursuing work on his own. Eri, John and I were in this house garage lab. And they wanted to keep this under the radar, they didn't want people to know that people were doing ths eresearch, and itw asn't quite up to code. People kept coming over and were so excited, they thought this was HP in a garage or the homebrew computer club. So this is SV.. so it evokes all the myths and ethos.

From there, we started having people over for regular meetups and it was cclear that there was demand for this, to lower barriers to access for this. We spent a while thinking that we might do this in a more commercial for-profit type model. There's a long story there, but we ended up.. Peter Thiel came over to the garage at one point, and he had heard about some of the research that John was doing. So he invested in this, and John became a separate company trying to develop a cancer therapeutic. It took us another 10 months to keep building the community. We went on kickstarter and raised initial money to put down on a lease, we raised to the goal of about $30,000. This was impossible in history because it was impossible before- crowdfunding wasn't a thing, it is now a route to finance things that traditional investors would not support.

From there we spent quite a while trying to get the lease, so we tried to get a lease, we almost had a deal in place, and finally we got the lease in Sunnyvale and we opened in September 2011. It's been quite a ride so far. We look forward to all of you coming on Thursday to see the lab. And we welcome any questions that you may have about Biocurious.

How big is your community that regularly comes to your place? We have about 30 members. It depends on the level of engagement. We have a broad community. Some people are coming occassionally, and we have a core more dedicated folks, our meetup group is over 1000 now. We've had events that get about 60 people. It's sort of a motivation curve that falls off very dramatically. We're still building out our core membership, but I think it's going pretty well.

How did your relationship with the FBI and your lab initiate? I tried similar things in .. country .. but there's no general email address to get contact. How was this started? The FBI had been engaging with Mac, Jason and Meredith back in the early days. Meredith was in the news at the time, and that was their point of entry into the biohacking community. We got on the "list" of people to watch, I don't know.

Nathan - I think it came out of the relationships out of igem, and it was from Agent Edward You. And it trickled down to the FBI colleagues. We started to create initial relationships with those communities. The WMD coordinator Pat in NY was the first to visit Genspace, and that was the first meeting with them. We've had a great relationship in NY, and we'll see in other sessions that it depends on the mtoivations. From the domestic point of view, I could see a very apparent mutual benefit here in the United States. Internationally, the goal of this was to introduce the concept to our international partners, and see if it fits their specific model. We have a very robust and proactive engagement at the FBI, because we learn from our mistakes. We learned that we have to be ahead of the curve not just of threats, but trends like synthetic biology, trying to get ahead of technology and hoping the community addresses specific security issues as they are developing. Is the amateur biology community in the US being engaged by law enforcement or media? They are being put on the stage internationally, even about things at igem, would there be a benefit to the international community for you to be developing a relationship with local law enforcement? Would it be proactive to let them know what you are doing? Or should you let them come to you, would that be beneficial to you? We will hear some responses to that over the next few days, it depends on how your country and legislation is based - are they proactive or reactive? Or do you feel like it's a benefit to your community or you as an individual to let them know what you're doing? There are some folks here who have been proactive, and that is a great sign and a great echoing of things that we have tried to do here. So I ask that you, take a count of what you hear, and see whether or not you feel it would be beneficial to apply these types of steps to your individual communities to see if it would be beneficial to you as well.

FBI question, not biocurious... there's 30k or 40k people getting PhDs in biology, and 100s of people in amateur biology. Why is the FBI focused on the amateur side, and such a higher risk or higher threat from people coming out of the more traditional sciences? Nathan: Well, we're not a one trick pony. We have a lot of assets dedicated to academic biosecurity outreach. We have established such a great relationship with DIYbio from the beginning, we wish to continue the conversation and use this as an exchange of information, so I would say that amateur biology on the stage from the FBI's perspective should not be perceived as us taking the community seriously from a threat or security perspective, these are the whitehats in this room. It's our goal that we operate safely and securely to identify those blackhats if they are out there. We have a robust academic biosecurity outreach, we have visited about 20 universities, giving academic biosecurity outreach, we're trying to address safety and security and responsible conduct in graduate work, in animal and human trials. We're trying to get the safety and responsibility training in those scientists. We have a huge wall against academicians that don't want the FBI in the room because we're only going to cause them less focus on their grants and them doing what they do. We do understand that there has been some history of the academic environment giving rise to individuals that utilize their access to their materials or select agents for nefarious use. We're, addressing that direction as much as we are with amateur biology. We covet the relationship because it has been built, and it's a mutually beneficial environment to try to identify a path forward rather than a clear path forward with how academia and industry conducts research and that very narrow lane of regulation.

Yes Howard? To add to that.. we're from DNA 2.0. We're engaged with the FBI, proportionally as the FBI engages in the amateur community. Because we're engaged in conversation and because the risk is so much ihgher, we are in daily or weekly contact with law enforcement around what we're doing. I don't know a great deal about this relationship, based on what I've heard so far, it sounds like the proportions are the same. It's at X level for these people, and 600X because we have that many more people. I don't see greater focus, if that's understandable.

If your mission works as DIY from San Diego, and we're from NY, and our mission works as well, hopefully one day our non-PhDs will outrank all these PhDs, there will be so many more of us. But this is the seed stage, and that will inform those events about 10 years in the future.

Mac: Thanks Nate, it's important to be explicit about the mutual benefits. Some of the benefits are that it keeps the FBI and friends ahead of the curve, and lets us as a community pave the regulatory path on the fly. That seems lik a good thing. I'm wondering on the international standpoint, any metrics that you can supply to foreign agencies to consider them working with their national or local communities. So maybe you cuold talk to the Secret Service in the Netherlands or something, or what shuold he tell the international counterparts to get them excited?

Nathan: Well, I don't know. The European congress was interesting. Different countries have different levels of comfort for which they are comfortable exercising this type of work. I would say that from a law enforcement perspective, we would like to know what's out there. It's the not knowing what's out there that causes heartache. We are responsible from a security perspective, and I can say this broadly and generaly- for knowing our area of responsibility. It's knowing about all the nuclear power plants, all the holders of all level 1 and level 2 chemicals in chemical plants. Those are specific resources and critical infrastructure that are valuable and could become assets for nefarious use. As well as being interested in what's happening on the development of the technology, and we have an opportunity now to get ahead of the curve. They would feel as proactive about this, iternationally, about engaging science, with regards to safe and secure conduct, as we are. But we are as only proactive because of our history and some of our faults in the US wholly. So we find it valuable to engage with science wherever it is and identify ways that we could mutually benefit each other. I would hope that there would be some benefit to foreign law enforcement entities that would find it valuable to know what's going on in their areas. What we don't know, on our end, is what we're concerned about, so we'd love to know about what's going on, and we'd like to know that the communities themselves know of that information, and that these communities know about what they're doing and what impact that might have.

You said that the FBI has postings in foreign countries? Would they know who? We have 3 WMD representatives worldwide, but we have representatives from the FBI in 60 areas of teh world. They would know the local enforcement groups who would be interested in meeting with you.

Following Mac's question, one of the questions is, ... I work for the UN on security in biological issues, and certainly could put you in touch with folks in your government, not always law enforcement, but you're moer than welcome to leverage us to make those connections. We're more than happy to open some of those doors and to make the arguments to the folks in your country, we're more than happy to do that.

Let's rap up this session, we have a 15 minute break, so we're only 15 minutes behind, so let's take a break and meet back at 10 o'clock.