Timeline of biohacking

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This is a timeline of biohacking, attempting to describe events related to the do-it-yourself biology movement, as well as body hacking, and self-experimentation in medicine in general.

Sample questions

The following are some interesting questions that can be answered by reading this timeline:

  • What are the different areas of biohacking covered in this timeline?
  • What are some notable concepts emerging in the biohacking culture and related movements?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Concept development".
  • What are some notable scientific achievments that would have a special impact in the biohacking sphere?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Scientific background".
  • What are some notable publish declarations advocating biohacking and relkated movements?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Manifesto".
    • You will see some publish declarations on behalf of movements such as biohacking, transhumanism, and body hacking.
  • What are some notable/illustrative biohacking groups?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Organization".
    • You will mostly see a number of Do-it-yourself biology groups emerging all around the world.
  • What are some talks given by important people in the biohacking movement?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Conference".
    • You will see TED talks featuring prominent people such as Ellen Jorgensen and Dave Asprey.
  • What are some illustrative books on biohacking?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Literature".

Other events are described under the following types: "BioArt", "Competition", "Notable comment", "Project launch", "Statistics", "Television", and "Trend growth".

Big picture

Time period Development summary More details
1950s–1960s Early movements The Do-it-Yourself movement gains momentum in the United States during this time, after decades of seeding by publications such as Popular Science (first published in 1872) and Popular Mechanics (1902).[1] The hacker ethic emerges within the first hacker communities in the United States.[2]
1970s–1980s Computer hacking birth The popularization of computers since the late 1970s gives rise to computer hacking,[3] a predecesor sharing a number of parallels with the future “biohacking” ecosystem.[4] In the early 1980s, Richard Stallman founds the Free Software Foundation.[5] The modern neurohacking movement begins in the 1980s.[6]
1990s Biohacking movement birth The term “biohacking” starts trending in the early decade. An explotion of free operating system and desktop environment projects lay the groundwork of a free and open-source software ecosystem in this decade.[7]
2000s Increased proliferation After a brief period marked by a lack of research in the area, neurohacking starts regaining interest in the early decade.[8][9] An economic downturn prompts several struggling biotech firms to sell off their equipment to biohacker collectives, accelerating the dissemination of genetic engineering techniques.[10]
2010s Biohacker spaces consolidation The first biohacker spaces open in the United States.[11] In this decade, a new generation of biologists embraces the do-it-yourself ethic of computer programming.[12]

Full timeline

Year Event type Category Details Location/Launch site
1930s Ethical code General The Mertonian ethos is proposed by American sociologist Robert K. Merton as an account of scientist's norms of behavior.[2] United States
1930s Scientific background Body hacking German physician Werner Forssmann performs the first clinical cardiac catheterization on himself. He would later win the Nobel Prize.[13] Germany
1953 Scientific background Do-it-yourself biology Francis Crick and James Watson discover the DNA double helix structure.[14]
1960 Literature Body hacking Manfred Clynes and Nathan Klines publish article Cyborgs and Space.[15]
1967 Scientific background Do-it-yourself biology The first DNA ligase is purified and characterized by the Gellert, Lehman, Richardson, and Hurwitz laboratories.[16]
1968 Scientific background Do-it-yourself biology Robert W. Holley, Har Gobind Khorana and Marshall W. Nirenberg are jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis."[17]
1970 Scientific background Do-it-yourself biology Hamilton Smith and Kent Wilcox announce having isolated and characterized a restriction enzyme (HindII) in a second bacterial species, Haemophilus influenza, and demonstrate that it degrades the DNA of a foreign phage. Restriction enzymes are used for many different purposes in biotechnology. They can be used to splice and insert segments of DNA into other segments of DNA, thereby providing a means to modify DNA and construct new forms.[18] Restriction enzymes find their way into the hands of biohackers.[19]
1972 Concept development Neurohacking (nootropics) The term nootropics is first proposed by Romanian chemist Corneliu Giurgea, from University of Bucharest.[20] Romania
1973 Scientific background Do-it-yourself biology Stanley Norman Cohen and Herbert Boyer manage to construct a new functional plasmid species in vitro and insert it into an Escherichia coli, thus creating the first transgenic organism.[21] United States
1977 Scientific background Do-it-yourself biology British biochemist Frederick Sanger and his team at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge develop the ‘Chain Termination Method’, marking th begining of DNA sequencing. United Kingdom
1982 Project launch Do-it-yourself biology The GenBank sequence database is released as an open access, annotated collection of all publicly available nucleotide sequences and their protein translations. It is produced and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the United States as part of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC).[22] United States
1983 Scientific background Do-it-yourself biology American biochemist Kary Mullis conceives the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as a relatively simple and inexpensive technology used to amplify or make billions of copies of a segment of DNA.[23] United States
1983 Scientific background Do-it-yourself biology A tobacco resistant to antibiotics is grown as the first genetically modified plant (GMP).[24]
1984 Literature Body hacking American-Canadian writer William Gibson publishes novel Neuromancer, which is often attributed as the cause in the rise of transhumanism culture popularity in modern times, as well as for coining terminology and ideas that form the basis of modern Cyberpunk and body hacking culture.[25] United States
1984 Scientific background Do-it-yourself biology American geneticist Phillip Leder and Timothy Stewart produce a tumor-prone transgenic mouse, used as model of breast cancer.[26] United States
1984 Notable comment General American writer Stewart Brand coins the slogan "Information wants to be free"[27] against limiting access to information by governmental control, preventing a public domain of information.[28] Brand argues that technology could be liberating rather than oppressing.[29] United States
1985 Manifesto Body hacking Donna Haraway’s publishes her Cyborg Manifesto, giving rise to the cyborg theory.[30]
1986 Manifesto General The Conscience of a Hacker (also known as The Hacker Manifesto) is written as a small essay by a computer security hacker who goes by the handle (or pseudonym) of The Mentor (born Loyd Blankenship).
1987 BioArt Do-it-yourself biology American artist Joe Davis encodes a depiction of the female form into the DNA of living Escherichia coli bacteria, for an artistic venture. This is widely cited as the first experimental demonstration of DNA data storage.[31] United States
1988 Notable comment General American Molecular biologist Tom St. John writes an article on the Washington Post titled Playing God in Your Basement, commenting “You can pick up any recent issue of Science magazine, flip through it and find ads for kit after kit of biotechnology techniques”.[10] United States
1990 Scientific background Do-it-yourself biology Herman is born in Leiden, Netherlands, as the world's first transgenic bull. It is the result of a novel in-vitro process by a team of scientists led by Gen Pharming Europe, a GenPharm subsidiary.[32] Netherlands
1992 Concept development General The first known use of the word biohacking occurs, and refers to an experimental action done, with the goal of improving the quality of life of a living organism, executed by individuals out of the official scientific and or medical field.[33]
1995 Concept development General Cornell University ornithologist Rick Bonney coins the term citizen science.[34] United States
1996 Scientific background Do-it-yourself biology Dolly the Sheep is born in Edinburgh.[35][36] A milestone of science, her cloning proves that a cloned organism could be produced from a mature cell from a specific body part.[37] United Kingdom
1998 Organization Body hacking The global transhumanist foundation Humanity+ is co-founded by Nick Bostrom, to encourage public engagement with the prospects of future technologies being used to enhance human capacities.[38]
1998 Organization General The Open Source Initiative is founded by Bruce Perens and Eric S. Raymond. It promotes the usage of open source software.[39][40] United States
1998 Manifesto Body hacking The Transhumanist Declaration is written, seeking to place limits and rules on technology that have not even been developed yet.[41]
1998 Notable case Body hacking British cybernetics professor Kevin Warwick implants a radio-frequency identification device (RFID) in his arm, an anti-theft smart label that enables a computer to track Warwick's every move and store codes that allows him to unlock certain doors, computers and even smart phones.[13] United Kingdom
2000 Notable case Do-it-yourself biology Chicago artist Eduardo Kac creates transgenic albino rabbit ‘Alba’, which is born in April. The rabbit is part of a transgenic art project called “GFP Bunny”. This project would raise many ethical questions and spark an international controversy about whether Alba should be considered art at all.[42] United States
2000 Trend growth Do-it-yourself biology Already around this time, some of the synthetic biology pioneers foresee the rise of an amateur branch of ‘garage biology’ parallel to their own field as a consequence of the ever declining cost curves for DNA sequencing and DNA synthesis.[43]
2001 Notable comment General Robert Carlson predicts that, as technologies would become less expensive, faster, and ever simpler to use, they would “first move from academic labs and large biotechnology companies to small businesses, and eventually to the home garage and the kitchen”.[43]
2002 Scientific background Do-it-yourself biology The Human Genome Project is conducted. Soon after the human genome is fully sequenced, the first DIY biologists would start tinkering with biological material.[44]
2002 Notable case Body hacking Shortly after the Soham murders, English engineer Kevin Warwick offers to implant a tracking device into an 11-year-old girl as an anti-abduction measure. The plan produces a mixed reaction, with endorsement from many worried parents but ethical concerns from children's societies. As a result, the idea would not go ahead.[45] United Kingdom
2003 Competition Do-it-yourself biology The International Genetically Engineered Machines is created. It is one of the most important contribution of the early pioneers to the rise of do-it-yourself biology. It would be considered to have done more than any other event to create a generation of biohackers. In these international contests, university student teams compete to make synthetic systems that work in living cells. Several participants at iGEM competitions would become founders of the numerous DIY-Bio groups emerging after 2008.[43] United States
2003 Notable case Do-it-yourself biology American synthetic biologist Tom Knight invents the BioBrick plasmids, the most widely used standardized DNA parts, whoch would become central to the international Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) founded at MIT in the following year.[46][47] United States
2004 Notable case Do-it-yourself biology A UT Austin/UCSF iGEM team designs a bacterial system that is switched between different states by red light. The system consists of a synthetic sensor kinase that allows a lawn of bacteria to function as a biological film, such that the projection of a pattern of light on to the bacteria produces a high-definition (about 100 megapixels per square inch), two-dimensional chemical image.[48] United States
2004 Competition Do-it-yourself biology The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition is created at MIT, with five schools participating.[11] United States
2004 Notable case Body hacking British cyborg artist Neil Harbisson has an antenna implanted into his skull, making him the world's first government-acknowledged cyborg.[49] His antenna sends audible vibrations through his skull to report information to him. This includes measurements of electromagnetic radiation, phone calls, and music, as well as videos or images which are translated into audible vibrations.[50] United Kingdom
2005 Notable case Body hacking American biohacker Amal Graafstra implants an RFID chip in his left hand. He is also known for developing human-friendly chips including the first ever implantable NFC chip.[51] United States
2005 Notable comment Do-it-yourself biology Rob Carlson writes in an article in Wired: "The era of garage biology is upon us. Want to participate? Take a moment to buy yourself a lab on eBay."[52] In the same year, Carlson becomes the first to build a lab in his garage from equipment bought online.[43]
2006 Notable case Do-it-yourself biology An MIT iGEM team manages to modify the normally putrid smell of bacteria so that the cells generate pleasant scents, such as wintergreen and banana.[53][54] United States
2007 Common view Nutrigenomics New York Magazine reports on a faction of biohackers who believe the fewer calories they consume on a daily basis, the longer they'll live.[55][56] See Timeline of calorie restriction.
2008 Organization Do-it-yourself biology The DIYbio organization is founded in Boston by Jason Bobe and Mackenzie Cowell.[57][58] DIYbio.org is launched as a channel of communication for DIYers who want to build a community around it.[11][59][60] United States
2009 Policy Do-it-yourself biology The United States National Security Council publishes the National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats, which embraces “innovation and open access to the insights and materials needed to advance individual initiatives,” including in “private laboratories in basements and garages.”[61] United States
2009 General view Do-it-yourself biology DIY biologists start admitting that ‘do-it-together’ would have been a more appropriate label than Do it yourself.[43]
2009 Project launch Do-it-yourself biology Andy Gracie, Marc Dusseiller and Yashas Shetty launch Hackteria, a webplatform and collection of open source biological art projects. Hackteria has the purpose to develop a rich wiki-based web resource for people interested in or developing projects that involve bioart, open source software/hardware, DIY biology, art/science collaborations and electronic experimentation.[62]
2009 Notable case Do-it-yourself biology Paul Vanouse produces his “Latent Figure Protocol" with the DNA of a bacterial plasmid.[63][64]
2009 Government involvement Do-it-yourself biology The United States FBI sponsors a booth and workshop at the 2009 International Genetically Engineered Machine competition in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An FBI agent notes “We're with the U.S. Government […] and we're here to help. Really”. The agency would go on to organize more such meetings in 2011 and 2012.[65] United States
2009 Organization Do-it-yourself biology La Paillasse is established in Paris as one of the first European Do-it-yourself biology groups.[66] France
2009 Organization Do-it-yourself biology BioCurious is established as a project with the purpose to provide shared laboratory space for professional, academic, citizen scientists, as well as anyone else interested in biotech.[67][68] It is a community biology laboratory and nonprofit organization located in Sunnyvale, California.[69] United States
2009 Organization Do-it-yourself biology American molecular biologist Ellen Jorgensen founds Genspace in Brooklyn, New York, as a non-profit organization and a community biology laboratory. It focuses on supporting citizen science and public access to biotechnology. Genspace is the first nonprofit community biotech lab. United States
2009 Notable case Do-it-yourself biology A team of seven Cambridge University manage to engineer bacteria to secrete a variety of coloured pigments, visible to the naked eye. They design standardized sequences of DNA, called BioBrick, and insert them into E. coli bacteria. Each BioBrick part contains genes from existing organisms, enabling the bacteria to produce a colour. By combining these with other BioBricks, bacteria could be programmed to do tasks for humans. Their invention, which they call E. chromi, wins the Grand Prize at the 2009 International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM).[70] United Kingdom
2009 Research Performance psychology A study shows that meditation increases the grey matter in subjects’ brains.[71]
2010 Organization Do-it-yourself biology Victoria Makerspace is founded in Victoria, British Columbia, by Derek Jacoby and Thomas Gray as a biology community lab.[72] This lab would take part in the FBI DIY biology summit in Walnut Creek, California in 2012,[73] the first Canadian DIY Biology Summit in 2016,[74] and the iGEM synthetic biology competition in 2014 with a project on preventing dental decay.[75] Canada
2010 Organization Do-it-yourself biology BiologiGaragen is founded in Copenhagen in 2010, as a part of Labitat, a vibrant local hackerspace.[66][58] Denmark
2010 Project launch Do-it-yourself biology Ellen Jorgensen initiates Genspace's curriculum of informal science education, leading to the company being named one the World's Top 10 Innovative Companies in Education.[76][77][78]
2010 Organization Do-it-yourself biology Genspace opens a Biosafety Level One laboratory,[79][80] the first community biology lab.[81]
2010 Project launch Do-it-yourself biology BioCurious lab opens a campaign on Kickstarter. Led by Eri Gentry, this project manages to to atract both amateur enthusiasts and career scientists alike. In addition to the financial support raised through crowdfunding, many volunteer their time and skills and the laboratory receives significant donations of scientific equipment. It is considered the world's first hackerspace for biotech.[68] United States
2011 Manifesto Body hacking American technologist Meredith L. Patterson presents her Biopunk Manifesto.[82][83] United States
2011 Project launch Do-it-yourself biology The “Bioluminescence Project” starts as a citizen science initiative at the hackerspace Biocurious in Sunnyvale, California. It is considered a remarkable example of turning community endeavors in DIY-Bio into new business opportunities.[43] United States
2011 Ethical code Do-it-yourself biology A code of ethics is adopted by DIYbio.org. This code remains an important touchstone for experiments.[3]
2011 Trend growth Neurohacking A resurgence in the popularity of at-home and DIY neurohacking starts in this year.[84][85]
2012 Organization Body hacking Grindhouse Wetware is founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as an open source biotechnology startup company. It applies the biohacker ethic to create technology that augments human capabilities. The company would be later known for their Circadia device.[86] United States
2012 Conference Do-it-yourself biology Ellen Jorgensen gives a TED talk about biohacking, putting the movement on the map.[13][87] United States
2012 Organization Do-it-yourself biology Baltimore Underground Science Space is founded as a non-profit synthetic biology and biotechnology makerspace laboratory for science enthusiasts, hobbyists, and professionals to practice, share and learn about the biological sciences. It is closely aligned with do-it-yourself biology and the Maryland science community generally, and offers courses and lectures in addition to community lab space.[88] United States
2012 Organization Do-it-yourself biology Do-it-yourself biology group Dutch DIYBio is founded in the Netherlands.[66] Netherlands
2012 Organization Do-it-yourself biology French group La Paillasse organizes a “kick-off” meeting to establish the European DIYBio community (www.diybio.eu), to provide a platform for joint collaborative projects. Further regular meetings would be planned across Europe.[66] Europe
2012 Organization Do-it-yourself biology SyntechBio opens in São Paulo as the first biohacker space in Latin America. It begins as an experiment inside the University of São Paulo "to accelerate the training of students in the synthetic biology area, enhance multidisciplinary studies, and create an open space to develop and share ideas that wouldn’t be normally supported by the academic community in a research context."[11] Brazil
2013 Notable case Do-it-yourself biology A team of three biohackers affiliated with Biocurious as well as with Genome Compiler conduct a crowd-sourcing campaign to raise money for developing bioluminescent plants that would glow in the dark. The idea is presented as a step towards a more sustainable future when streets would no longer be lit by electric lamps but by glowing trees. Once the project reaches its goals, each subscriber would receive envelopes with seeds of the genetically modified plants. By June 2013, 6000 hackers would be subscribed, bringing in almost 500,000 dollars to fund the project.[43]
2013 Notable case Body hacking American biohacker Tim Cannon implants the Circadia biosensor into his arm, between the skin and the muscle. Build by Grindhouse Wetware, the device checks the body temperature and pulse, then syncs this information to an Android device. It also conveys information by lighting up.[49] United States
2013 Organization Body hacking Biotech startup company Dangerous Things is founded by Amal Graafstra.[89] It is a Seattle based cybernetic microchip biohacking implant retailer company.[90] United States
2013 Organization Do-it-yourself biology Counter Culture Labs opens in Oakland, California as an open community lab by a group of scientists, tinkerers, biotech professionals, hackers, and citizen scientists. It is a hackerspace for DIY biology and citizen science.[91] United States
2013 Research Do-it-yourself biology According to a survey, DIY biologists work on average 7 hours per week on their projects, they are well-educated, more than half of them are fully employed (besides their DIY biology activities) and 25% are students. About two thirds are between 25 and 45 years old and three quarters are male.[92]
2013 Notable case Body hacking DIY biohacker Rich Lee implants headphones in his tragi. He is also known for his work on a vibrating pelvic implant called the Lovetron9000.[93][94][95]
2013 Notable case Body hacking University of Minnesota researchers develop a new noninvasive system that allows people to control a flying robot using only their mind.[96][97] United States
2013 (October) Conference Body hacking Amal Graafstra gives a TED talk on biohacking.[98]
2014 Organization Do-it-yourself biology The DIYbio Mexico movement is born. Its rise is linked to the synthetic biology and biotechnology research groups that participated in the International Genetically Engineered Machine.[11] Mexico
2014 Organization Do-it-yourself biology Hackuarium is founded.[99] It is a not-for-profit association aiming to democratize science through public engagement.[100]
2014 Literature Nutrigenomics Ari R. Meisel publishes Intro to Biohacking.[101]
2014 (May) Conference Nutrigenomics American entrepreneur Dave Asprey gives a TED talk on how to hack the body to become healthier, smarter and how to lower the biological age.[102] United States
2014 Trend growth Do-it-yourself biology It is estimated that in this year there are 50 DIY biology labs around the world.[103]
2014 Organization Do-it-yourself biology Omni Commons is founded. It is a group of nine collectives in San Francisco's Bay Area devoted to DIY and community education.[104]
2014 Organization Do-it-yourself biology Bio Foundry is founded in Australia as the country's first community lab for citizen scientists. It is Australia’s first open-access molecular biology laboratory, offering citizens the opportunity to collaborate in scientific research and development. BioFoundry is also home to BioHackSyd, Australia’s first DIY-Bio group.[105] Australia
2015 Manifesto General James Lee publishes The Biohacking Manifesto: The Scientific Blueprint for a Long, Healthy and Happy Life Using Cutting Edge Anti-Aging and Neuroscience Based Hacks.[106]
2015 Organization Do-it-yourself biology Open Insulin starts as a team of Bay Area biohackers working on newer, simpler, less expensive ways to make insulin. They work on developing the first freely available, open protocol for insulin production.[107] United States
2015 Organization Do-it-yourself biology Charlottesville Open Bio Lab is founded in Charlottesville, Virginia, with the goal of educating the community about the rising tide of synthetic biology and biotechnology.[108] United States
2015 Organization Do-it-yourself biology Four Thieves Vinegar Collective is founded as an anarchist biohacking group.[109]
1015 (July) Organization Do-it-yourself biology BiohackingBA is founded as the first biohacking community in Argentina. It has projects focused on hardware (such as 3D-printed pipettes), arts (like installations with fluorescent bacteria and plants), neuroscience, and bioinformatics.[11] Argentina
2015 Scientific background Body hacking Early bionic eyes are produced, consisting in telescopic lens with capability to zoom in and out with blinks and night vision capability-[110]
2015 Organization Neurohacking Neurohacker Collective is founded with the mission "to advance human quality of life by creating best-in-class well-being products". Its products employ a unique methodology to research and development based on complex systems science. This scientific approach focuses on supporting the body's ability to self-regulate.[111] United States
2015 Notable case Body hacking Swedish biohacker Hannes Sjöblad starts experimenting with NFC chip implants. Sjöblad would go on to implant himself with a chip between his forefinger and thumb and use it to unlock doors, make payments, unlock his phone, and essentially replace anything that is in his pockets.[112]
2015 Competition Do-it-yourself biology The International Genetically Engineered Machine is held with 280 teams with more than 2,700 participants from all over the world. "Reminiscent of robotics competitions held for engineers, iGEM uses biological platforms (bacteria, yeast, and plants, among others) to develop solutions and products and to create awareness about society’s problems through synthetic biology".[11]
2015 Organization Do-it-yourself biology ReaGent is founded in Ghent, Belgium as a community of citizen scientists who share an open biolab.[113][114] Belgium
2016 Notable meeting Do-it-yourself biology The first Canadian DIY Biology Summit is conducted.[115] Canada
2016 Concept development Body hacking Norton refers to embedded technology within the human body as to all kinds of implants in and interventions to the human body to enhance performance and health.[116][117]
2016 Notable case Body hacking 26 year old biochemical scientist James Young, who lost an arm and a leg in a train accident in 2012, unveils the "phantom limb," a carbon-fiber implanted limb with features such as ability to charge his phone via a USB port, give him Twitter updates via a small screen, and display LED lights which can be synchronized with his heartbeat. The device also contains a detachable drone.[49][118][119]
2016 Notable case Body hacking French tattoo artist JC Sheitan Tenet, who lost his right arm, receives what is called the world's first tattooing prosthetic arm, which allows him to continue to work.[49][120]
2016 Notable meeting General The first conference to focus specifically on biohacking is announced in Oakland, California.[121] United States
2016 Literature Neurohacking (nootropics) Caterina Christakos and Sue Bell publish Biohackers Journal - Keeping Track of Your Biohacking Stack. It is aimed at helping biohackers keep track of their stack of nootropics and smart drug usage and to monitor how it effects their mood, health and performance.[122]
2016 Notable case Body hacking American biohacker Josiah Zayner, sick of suffering from severe stomach pain, attempts a full fecal microbiota transplant on himself.[123] Afterward, he would claim the experiment left him feeling better.[61][124] United States
2016 Organization Do-it-yourself biology The Latin American Network of Biohacker Spaces is launched at the end of the year. It starts including groups from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, further expanding through the region.[11]
2016 (November) Conference Do-it-yourself biology Nuria Conde gives a TED talk in Barcelona, on how to become a biohacker.[125] Spain
2017 Notable case Body hacking Workers at Wisconsin-based tech company Three Square Market agree to have microchips implanted in their hands in order to enter the office, log into computers and even buy a snack or two with just a swipe of a hand. The microchip uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology.[126] United States
2017 Organization Do-it-yourself biology top is founded in Berlin as a transdisciplinary project place for art and science. Its members use borrowed, recycled and home-built equipment to recreate a typical do-it-yourself biology lab and bring biology to the public.[127] Germany
2017 Organization Do-it-yourself biology ChiTownBio is founded as Chicago's first community biolab. It is "dedicated to putting the knowledge, skills, and tools of biotechnology into the hands of all Chicagoans who want to explore the living world and use it to benefit our community".[128] United States
2017 Organization Do-it-yourself biology Ellen Jorgensen founds Biotech Without Borders,[76] a Brooklyn, New York based nonprofit public charity dedicated to enabling communities underrepresented in the biotechnology field to gain hands-on biotech lab experience.[129] Biotech Without Borders focuses on providing a Biosafety Level 2 lab space, distributing biotech resources to labs worldwide, and engaging the public through hands-on lab classes, workshops, and events.[130] United States
2017 Project launch General The CSA Ethics Working Group Resource Collection is started as a collection of tools by the Ethics Working Group of the Citizen Science Association. This collection is aimed at all scientists, including citizen scientists and biohackers, who can use for ethics. It includes codes of ethics, consent form templates, recorded webinars, training, guides, technologies, and related sites and blogs.[131] United States
2017 (October) Conference Body hacking Swedish biohacker Jowan Österlund gives a TED talk in Bratislava, explaining how seamless interection between body and technology should work in the future.[132] Slovakia
2018 Statistics Do-it-yourself biology By this time, DIYbio.org lists 44 biohacking labs in North America, 31 in Europe and 17 across Asia, South America and Oceania.[44][58] Worldwide
2018 (June) Notable case Body hacking Sydney biohacker Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow implants an Opal card chip into his hand. However, he is penalized despite implant returning a "valid tap-on", and is fined US$220 for failing to comply with existing transit laws.[133][134][135] Australia
2018 (July) Conference Nutrigenomics, neurohacking Ben Greenfield gives a TED talk sharing tips for longevity and how to biohack the body.[136]
2018 (July 7) Organization Do-it-yourself biology BIOOK is founded in Spain. Based on the do-it-yourself biology movement and on Citizen Science, it is a non-profit association that aims to promote social innovation, "creating ecosystems for citizens to participate and enjoy scientific-cultural production, eliminating boundaries between biology and other disciplines."[137] Spain
2019 Literature Nutrigenomics Olli Sovijärvi, Teemu Arina, and Jaakko Halmetoja publish their Biohacker's Handbook, which focuses on nutrition and lifestyle.[138]
2019 (May) Notable case Body hacking Belgium-based Russian biohacker named Vladimir Kaigorodov injects himself with DNA from Dolly the Sheep, claiming that it came to his body "as a kind of new stage in human evolution".[139] Belgium
2019 (October) Literature General Dave Asprey publishes Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backwards and Maybe Even Live Forever, which covers topics such as health and fitness, healthy living, and psychology.[140]
2020 (January 7) Conference Nutrigenomics Martin Kremmer gives a TED talk in Copenhagen, recounting his experience with biohacking.[141] Denmark
2020 Television Do-it-yourself biology, body hacking German techno-thriller television series Biohackers is released on Netflix. It depicts illegal genetic experimentation.[142] Germany
2020 Statistics General As of date, North America holds the dominant share of the overall revenue owing to the presence of several key biohacking market players in the region, especially in the United States. Europe holds the second-largest revenue share.[143] North America
2020 (December) Literature Performance psychology, nutrigenomics Kristen Willeumier publishes Biohack Your Brain: How to Boost Cognitive Health, Performance & Power
2021 Notable case Body hacking Scientists at Brown University develop the BrainGate system, which allows users to wirelessly connect themselves to a computer with "single-neuron resolution" and "full broadband fidelity" via a simple transmitter device place atop the head.[144] United States
2028 Statistics General The global biohacking market size is anticipated to reach US$ 63.7 billion by this year.[143] Worldwide

Visual and numerical data

Mentions on Google Scholar

The following table summarizes per-year mentions on Google Scholar as of May 13, 2021.

Year biohacking biohacking technology biohacking implant biohacking ethics biohacking gene editing
1995 1 1 0 0 0
2000 0 0 0 0 0
2002 1 1 1 0 0
2004 3 2 0 2 2
2006 2 2 0 5 5
2008 11 9 2 10 5
2010 25 23 7 15 13
2012 60 50 10 32 24
2014 133 116 44 78 49
2016 247 214 83 169 107
2017 303 260 104 185 147
2018 371 327 146 226 178
2019 556 429 182 305 255
2020 527 442 187 333 257

Google Trends

The chart below shows Google Trends data for Biohacking (search term), from January 2004 to Month 2021, when the screenshot was taken. Interest is also ranked by country and displayed on world map.[145]

Biohacking gt.png

Google Ngram Viewer

The chart below shows Google Ngram Viewer data for Biohacking, from 2000 to 2019.[146]

Biohacking ngram.png

Wikipedia Views

The chart below shows pageviews of the English Wikipedia article Biohacking, from July 2015 to April 2021. [147]

Biohacking wv.png

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

Feedback and comments

Feedback for the timeline can be provided at the following places:


What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


  1. "The Rise of the Do-it-Yourself Movement in the 1950's". Make it Mid Century. 10 November 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2021. 
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