Monday, April 25, 2016

Celebrate the DNA day with a PacBio Sequel LEGO model

What an exciting celebration! Since PacBio released the Sequel late last year, I have been thinking about to build a miniature model of it. Besides appreciating the new features and dramatically increased throughput, I also was intrigued by Sequel's design. It has an elegant curved front. It looks nice, but posts a great challenge to LEGO building. It is of cause the fun part for me. I have never built a curved model like it and have not seen one either. After tried a few ideas, I found that the LEGO train track pieces can provide the curvature needed. After nailed the shape challenge with the breakthrough, I was thinking to add a real moving door. To do that, the experiences of coaching a First Lego League ( team came handy. I used a rack gear to make it happen. It can be seen in the work deck. The door can be operated by a handle in the back of the model. It is fun to play with. Thank you for reading and Happy DNA Day!

Friday, April 20, 2012

1x2 Plate DNA model

To celebrate the DNA, I released a few new DNA models that created by 1x2 plates. The idea is to make it easy for people to build their own DNA models because now it only requires one type of pieces instead of several special pieces before.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Animal Models made of 1 x 2 plates

I am still fascinated with using the simplest Lego pieces to build structures. Here are some new builds to celebrate my acceptance as a Maker to Maker Faire 2012 (Bay Area) again. I am sure that you can recognize them, but just in case. They are peacock, butterfly, crocodile, giraffe, bird, monkey. The monkey was partially built by my daughter. I really like the tail she made.

Monday, March 19, 2012

MinION Lego

I heard it. Oxford Nanopore will not be released for months. It has promised big and a lot. Many people are anxiously waiting them to release “real” data. Is it really 96% accuracy? No sample prep, no kidding?

Instead of just thinking about it, I chose to do something fun. I released my Lego MinION model at ABRF 2012, a meeting mostly for Omics facility crowd, who are often my hard working colleagues to generate more than enough data for me to analyze.

So far, I can only find three pictures of MinION on the Web. So the model is built based on those snapshots. The model can be totally wrong. But several people recognized it at the meeting without me telling them what it is.

The Lego model should be similar in size as the published pictures. The USB drive in my model is a working one. It can hold one human genome. In addition, my Lego sequencer also do not have length limit of sequencing. The average accuracy is ~25% and sample prep is optional. Another important feature is that the back of the Lego sequencer has a camera. So it can take a picture before it sequences a thing of interest.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dog models of 14 1X2 Lego plates

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about using only 1 X 2 Lego plates to build models. 1 by 2 plate is the smallest unit that has a connection in Lego system. They should be able to build a as complex (or simple) structure as you can imagine. One simple model I built that is enough to impress my children is a dog model. Since 1x2 plates are easily available at home or to buy from Lego stores, I do encourage you to try it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lego 1X2 Plate Build

To build a complex structure does not necessarily need complex Lego pieces. I has been thinking about to use just 1x2 plates to build models since they are the smallest Lego units that provide connections. Here is a few tries on animal models.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Make Faire Interview

Here is a video of an interview at Maker Faire 2011 on my DNA models. I was very pleased with the final cuts.