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Welcome to the page with information about the Hackuarium Biolab Space in Ecublens!
Hackuarium has two rooms in the context of the new cooperative, the Biolab with windows, and the so-called 'inner sanctum' without windows. The latter can be used for some biology work, especially higher resolution microscopy (with Raspberry Pi camera on the old Zeiss scope) and bioluminescence studies, but no growth of cultures is allowed there. (there is a carpet!)

The overall map of the new space is shown below on the right.

map of the space

The biolab is located in a south facing room of over 22m2, with three windows and a linoleum floor.
It must be stressed that this is a provisional space, with the building already destined for destruction in the next 3-5 years (or so they say!).
Thus, we still need to find someplace more sustainable, and any help in this regard would be greatly appreciated!


Getting the Hackuarium community together for some real biological experimentation is an evolving endeavor. In Renens the official 'P1 laboratory' ran for only about a year, and more information on that can be found in various parts of this wiki. Starting from here for historical perspective is a good option.

Biosafety Officers

Rachel Aronoff and Olivier Emery continued their roles as biosafety officers in the new space, until Olivier got too busy and left the board in June 2020. Maybe you would like to become our new deputy biosafety officier? :)

If you need to contact them in particular about any proposed activities or projects in the biolab, please use this email address:

Key Aims

To learn, have fun, and avoid problems!

Here is the link to all the Biosafety info, list of users and list of strains to date for future reference.
After RA's first Biosummit in 2020, this great resource for community biolabs came to her attention, for everyone's use.
We have to note that at least some lab strains did not survive the moving process, even though dry ice was used to move tubes from one -20 to another... :(
However, we had a nice surprise, already, in being able to revive some bioluminescent bacteria (which turned out to be Photobacterium phosphorum!) after many months in an eppendorf tube in the frig!! More information about this is already in the wiki.

Timeline for Project Initiation

1) Talk with everyone about your ideas and what you would like to do. Public presentations during Wednesday #OpenHackuarium events are recommended!
2) Take the 'intro to biosafety course' and do risk assessment on your idea.
12 people have already taken the "Introduction to biosafety" training for the new space.
More training sessions can be organised upon request.
3) Start documenting your idea in the wiki. You can use this template developed by YannP as a guide.
4) If we really get the ok to do P1 experiments, go ahead and fill in the form, also developed by YannP!
5) Get a project box, and get going! (ask for a minigrant, if necessary for obtaining reagents or other materials.)

Further information

  • The lab layout is modular and flexible, with the tall bench useful in both orientations, depending on needs.
  • Much equipment can be kept on shelves, and taken out to use when needed.
  • All projects will have a box for their special equipment and stocks. Ask for a new one, if you need it!
  • Always tidy things away after manipulations are complete, and if anything needs to stay out on a bench, or in incubators, remember to always leave signed and dated notes!
  • Do you have questions?
    Maybe you can't reach Rachel or Olivier, or want to find out more before even trying to ask them??
    There is a service in the DIYBio community for this Ask a Biosafety Professional! Use it! (And double check!)
  • Remember, being clueless is no excuse!!
  • The Standard Operating Procedures for appropriate use of the new space are being developed, and build upon what was previously decided during preparations to establish a P1 laboratory for Hackuarium members already back in 2015/6. (Some old equipment still has useful QR codes that lead to information in this wiki, too! Bravo, les poulpes!)

Here are some new SOPs for use of the small sterile hood and for use of the ultracentrifuge in the new space.

  • Key code access will depend on responsibility and training of users of the space!

Watch this space for more information!

Translation help welcome! :)


  • first image: a moment during a micronuclei workshop (18may19)
  • second image: Bioluminescence of Photobacterium phosphorum 8s exposure with SLR camera
  • third image: Bioluminescence of Photobacterium phosphorum quick pic in 'inner sanctum' with iPhone SE
  • fourth image: Bioluminescence of some marine plankton, the Dinoflagellates Pyrocystis fusiformis