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Want to own a piece of Tekla Labs equipment?

March 12, 2014 in Our News

Now you can! We are looking for people interested in building any of the over 150 amazing equipment designs that were submitted to our competition.  We’ll supply the materials and technical assistance, the finished product is yours to keep.

Is this a trick? Nope. We just want to learn about how people interact with the designs so that we can continue to provide easy to understand instructions for building low-cost, reliable lab equipment.  If you are interested, fill out the form below, email info@teklalabs.org, or tweet @teklalabs.  Let’s get making!


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DxD Hackathon Update

January 16, 2014 in Our News

Videos from the hackathon are up – check out the presentations from the top three teams and a time lapse video of all the hacking action! We are so impressed by the work done this weekend, and are truly inspired seeing so many talented people work to improve global health.

A huge thank you to CEND, the CITRIS Invention Lab , all of the volunteers, and the hackathon participants for making the first DxD hackathon a great success. Can’t wait to do it again next year!!

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Build My Lab winners announced!

January 9, 2014 in Our News

The judges had a hard time selecting winners among all of the great entries, but from the finalist list, we’re now able to announce the winners!

Grand Prize winner is this awesome Programmable Temperature Controller + Hot Plate!

FROM BRITTLIV,  HERE’S  A QUICK OVERVIEW OF THE GRAND PRIZE ENRTY: the Heating things up is one of the most performed tasks in a lab. Quite a lot of times it is not enough to simply hold something at a certain temperature, but the rate at which something is heated and for how long is just as important. Especially when you try to develop catalysts for chemical processes, the temperature program and exact temperature control is crucial and you probably do not want to stay in the lab for 16 hours to manually adapt your temperature program. Unfortunately, programmable temperature controllers that can automate processes are really expensive. So I decided to build a highly customizable controller that is able to run temperature ramps and read multiple different temperature programs from a SD card. It also provides a logging function on the SD card that allows you to evaluate the resulting temperature profile after running a program.It is a great hack for your heating devices, since it can be easily connected to almost any heating apparatus you can think of, as long as it allows you to also connect a thermocouple. So If you have ever thought about building the perfect electric kiln (there are multiple really good explanations online) or hot plate (take a look at the steps 6 and 7), now is your time.Overall the controller should cost you about $45 and the hot plate about $55. You should easily be able to build this as a weekend project.
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Thanks to all of the 173 entries to our Build My Lab competition!

January 9, 2014 in Our News

stirrer_circuitboard_thanksThank you for all of your awesome submissions to BUILD MY LAB! Stay connected with us – we’d love to work with you on design upgrades, future lab equipment projects, and community outreach! The Tekla Labs Team teklalabs@teklalabs.org

Please check out all of the cool submissions on the BuildMyLab page on Instructables.



What is DxD? [FAQ]

December 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

In the past couple weeks we’ve received a number of questions about the Diagnostics by Design (DxD) hackathon on January 11th and 12th of 2014, so here’s a bit of clarification for what exactly we’re doing and what’s going on!

What is DxD?

Diagnostics by Design (DxD) is a new effort based on a collaboration between the Point of Care Diagnostics Idea Lab, the Henry Wheeler Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases, and Tekla Labs. The Workshop is happening on January 9th, 2014 (Thursday), and the Hackathon is on January 11th and 12th (Saturday and Sunday). January 10th will be the 6th Annual CEND Symposium, which is a fantastic, free way to get to listen to world-class speakers on pressing issues of global health. The point of the hackathon event is to try and get Makers who are interested in making a different with their efforts to meet with Professionals in the sphere of global health and field diagnostics and get them to share their knowledge with each other over a nice cup of coffee and some sawdust and maybe the hum of the laser cutter going in the background.

What exactly will we be doing?

You will be working in teams of ~6 people (teams will be organized on the first day of the event unless you email us with particular requests for matching) to prototype some improvement on an existing piece of laboratory or diagnostic equipment, or build a new one from scratch. The event will take place in the CITRIS Invention Lab, which is a UC Berkeley workshop with plenty of soldering equipment, tools, fancy toys and the like. You will be given a starter kit of materials (components tbd, but feel free to email if you want to make a special request beforehand) and a small budget with which to buy additional materials from the staff at the Invention Lab or from the local hardware store. You are given free reign on what to build or how to build it, so long as you keep in mind the three judging criteria: “Serviceable, Simple, Safe.” This means your design should built in a way that shows you considered 1. Making it work. 2. Preventing needless complexity. 3. Keeping it safe. We just want to see you keep those ideas in mind, because they’re highly important to the design process.

Who is invited?

Can you program an Aruduino in your sleep but don’t know the first thing about how to culture malaria? Can you diagnose tuberculosis under a microscope faster than you can say its name, but don’t have a microscope to do it with? Are you neither of those, but you care enough about either or both enough to come and learn about it? If you said yes to any of the above, come on down! If you said no to all of the above, come on down anyway! We still have plenty of room for volunteers and additional registrants. If you have any food allergies or dietary requirements and plan to attend the hackathon, please email the coordinators.

What do we get for doing this?

All teams will submit their final prototypes on Sunday before lunch, and during the meal the entries will be judged. Winners will receive some sort of prize (TBD, most likely Amazon gift cards!) for their hard work and their attendance!

What is this registration fee for?

To make sure that people who are interested in coming actually show up! We’re providing four meals and a lot of materials, so we want to make sure attendance is up to snuff! If the registration fee poses a financial hardship to you, please email us and we will work to make appropriate accommodations.

How do I get in contact with you?

With the event coming up soon, you can email the hackathon organizer Michael Kang (mskang[at]berkeley[dot]edu) for quick and prompt responses. The rest of the time, our contact information is in the Home > Contact tab.

If I have any more questions?

Use the email address above to get in contact with the organizer directly! This FAQ will be updated as more questions come in.

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Jan 11-12th, 2014. Diagnostics by Design: a hack day for global health

November 20, 2013 in Our News

Tekla Labs is excited to partner with the Center for Emerging & Neglected Diseases at UC Berkeley for this hybrid Maker – Academia event!

The Diagnostics by Design hackathon is a cross-communities effort to bridge the gap between makers and do-it-yourself innovators and the sphere of global health. The event is posed as a challenge to participants: with minimal materials or through innovative coding, tackle a technological or informatic need in the space of point of care diagnostics. These can range from generating DIY lab equipment alternatives for medical clinics with limited resources, informatics for disease monitoring, or redesign of diagnostic tools for resource-limited settings.

Makers will work together with academics and professionals, to interface diverse skills, perspectives and experiences in technical innovation, needs assessments and field knowledge. We will not only explore, but get hands on experience with pressing health and design needs.

The hackathon is Sat Jan 11-Sun Jan 12. (Dont be fooled by the Eventbrite , which only shows the Saturday date!); The $15 registration covers participation and meals for both days. Sign up here. 



Schedule of Events

Saturday (Invention Lab, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley)
9:00-9:30 Opening remarks and brief overview of logistics
9:30-9:00 pm Open building time (all equipment in the Invention Lab is available for use; Hackathon organizers will be available to run jobs on the 3D printers, laser cutters, mills and lathes for each Hackathon team)
12:00-1:00 Lunch available in conference room
4:00 Afternoon tea, coffee and snacks served
9:00 Invention Lab closes for the day
Sunday (Invention Lab, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley & CITRIS auditorium)
9:00-12:00 Open building time (Invention Lab, Sutardja Dai Hall)
12:00-1:30 Team Presentations (CITRIS auditorium)
1:30-2:30 Lunch
2:30-3:00 Awards and closing remarks (CITRIS auditorium)

The hackathon is co-sponsored by CEND, GHDx, Tekla Labs, CITRIS, Invention Lab @ Berkeley, The Blum Center & Big Ideas@berkeley (financial support of Tekla Labs), and the Institute for Interntional Studies (financial support of GHDx).

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Open Discussion New Visions for Citizen Science

November 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hear about Tekla Labs and other efforts in citizen science on Wednesday, November 20 from 1-5 PM EST.  If you happen to live in DC, you can attend in person  - more practically may be to view the live stream or follow the event on twitter, @STIPCommonsLab and #CirSci! Learn more here and make sure to check out the other great work from the Commons Lab at the Woodrow Wilson international Center for Scholars.



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one month countdown for Build My Lab competition!

November 20, 2013 in BuildTheirLab

~30 days to go, 100 submissions already made! (Thanks, everyone!!!) Add your idea to the mix for a chance to win cool prizes, including a 3D printer, mini mill, dremel kit, or open source PCR kit, and more!

To see the instructions for the awesome submission already made, or to submit you ideas for DIY lab equipment designs or simple lab hacks that make life in the laboratory easier, go to our competition page at: http://www.instructables.com/contest/buildmylab.


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SciDev.net talks Tekla Labs

September 30, 2013 in Our News

In English and en Español.

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Who ho!! Our Build My Lab Competition is Open to Entries!

September 3, 2013 in BuildTheirLab, Our News


What is it? a DIY lab equipment design competition hosted along with Instructables.

How do I participate? Submit your designs at http://www.instructables.com/contest/buildmylab/ from September 2nd to December 16th

Prizes Get started now to contribute to Global Science! There’s also over $5000 in prizes! A mini mill, oscilloscope, Dremel and Arduino kits and more are all up for grabs!

We also will be giving away two special judges’ prizes: 1) Build Their Lab: Design an Instructable for building a piece of laboratory equipment that REAL scientists we have surveyed need for their research, and help them Build Their Lab!  2) Lab Hacks: Do you have simple solutions to common challenges around the lab? Did you 3D print a pipette holder for your bench? Help make life in lab easier and safer for everyone by submitting your own Lab Hacks!

Not ready for DIY contributions? Here are a few easy ways to help:

1. Tell your networks about Build My Lab (we’re happy to give you materials). We want to reach out to design & capstone classes, maker spaces, tech shops, research labs and more. 2. Stay in touch and show your support by signing up to be a member to this site or follow us on twitter @teklalabs.org.