An open-source kit for the diy reasearch of new antibiotics through the culture of actynomicetes
According to the WHO, resistance to antibiotics is a problem that affects everyone and that a no globally coordinated action, can lead to a situation where current antibiotics have no effect on the treatment of infections.
Many bacteria produce toxic compounds to compete against other microorganismsa and the type of microorganisms is determined by the ecosystem where they are. These compounds are used as antibiotics in medicine, saving thousands of lives each year.
Unfortunately, the abuse of these compounds and the lack of research has led to the emergence of resistant strains. The absence of tools to combat them, means the return to a pre-antibiotic era.
In order to reach the largest number of ecosystems, citizens and schools are invited to participate in the search for new microorganisms producing antibiotics, through the isolation of wild strains. It is important to note that these microorganisms are considered low-risk to human health.
To carry out this task, participants will isolate different actinomycetes from soil samples and deal with the E. coli (or similar) in order to determine their properties to inhibit growth .
Although seem complex, it is a process that can be carried out in any kitchen. However, in order to promote the project, 100 kits will be distributed for the isolation and cultivation of these strains. Each kit contains:
- Protocol for sowing and isolation of actinomycetes, standard version
- Protocol for sowing and isolation of actinomycetes, DIY version 
- 20 Petri dishes (100 * 20 plates kits / kit petri plates = 2000)
- 20 planting pots (100 * 20 kits handles / handles kit = 2000)
- 1 coupon for sequencing DNA from the region 16 / 18S strain interest
- 1 bottle 100 ml borosilicate
Based on the ability of each strain to inhibit growth, participants will analyze the region 16 / 18S microorganisms isolated. In this way, and through bioinformatics tools may identify the strain belongs and generate a metagenomics terrytory map. Also, a database will contain all related information to sample collection (GPS location, temperature, humidity sample DNA sequence, crop photos, etc .. .). The data will be accessible for free.
To encourage citizens to collaborate, different objectives will be proposed to the participants in order to encourage them to make a greater number of tests and collections. These objectives will be considered Badges (specific tasks) and Achievements (set of badges).
These tasks have a low barrier to entry, but the learning curve will gradually increase as the participants progress.
Users can buy their results with other network users Biostrike.
Biostrike objectives are:
- BioStrike distributed 100 kits to different schools
- Educate the public about the importance of the use and development of new antibiotics
- Educate the public about the importance of ecosystems and maintenance of diversity
- Develop open protocols to find new antibiotics
- Citizen Science Gamification in order to stimulate public
- Horizontal knowledge distribution through comunity learning or Do It Together)
- Global scientific collaboration based on the Open Source movement
Update: This project is actually on standby. If you are interested, let us know.