Glad you asked! A hackathon is when a group of software developers gather together and undertake a marathon "hack" of some problem. It could be trying to design a piece of code that does a really hard or cool task. Over the last number of years programming DNA has become more and more accessible. Some amazing startups are bringing down the prices of everything from DNA sequencing and synthesis to laboratory hardware and chemicals. So if most hackathons involve coding software, a "BioHackathon" involves programming life with DNA.
What happens? Well! About 50 people from diverse backgorunds gather together and assemble in teams. The event runs for three days and nights and during the event we separate the day into different sessions. The morning is usually given over to interactive talks from mentors, followed by hands on practical advice. Each days structure seeks to pull individuals towards a simple goal. Day one is about brainstorming and by nightfall there should be an idea. Day two is about prototyping and experimenting. Finally day three is about validation and testing. This year we want to exhibit our outcomes as a part of the London Design Festival.