The first step with tracking progress with garage biotech projects is to ensure that there is an accurate record of all new work that is performed. It’s not quite as fun as jumping straight with a new bit of lab equipment but is vital to ensure you get the most of your project. Anyone who has spent any considerable amount of time in the lab knows that there is a substantial amount of trial and error involved in any experiment and the important thing to ensure is that all of the individual adjustments to particular procedure is tracked for repeatability later.
Most lab scientist currently still use notebooks, strategically placed by their lab benches to track their progress but you could argue the need to manually insert each procedure would be too time consuming for a part time scientist. One method of stream lining this necessary process of tracking experimental progress by garage biotech enthusiasts is through the use ofwebcam videos that can (if needed) be saved and then later modified to ensure that your work can be easily reviewed at a later date and time and also potentially be easily distributed. An excellent illustration of this technique was the Video Diaries created by Will Smith’s fictional character in the movie “I am legend” which showed the power and simplicity of tracking experiments in a video format (these webcam software programs are already widely commercially available).
I’ve included one example of a video that shows and explains how to extract DNA, pretty neat!