First testing of the DNA Barcoding Project in the DIYBIO Hong Kong community lab!

What is Barcode Hong Kong Project?

The Hong Kong Barcode Project is a citizen science program in Hong Kong. Just like the unique pattern of bars on the products in supermarket, a DNA barcode is a DNA sequence that uniquely identifies each species of living thing. The Hong Kong Barcode Project aims to engage general public using DNA technology to explore biodiversity in Hong Kong.

Projects can use DNA barcodes to examine any aspect of the environment, such as:

  • Sampling biodiversity in a park, garden, office, or school;
  • Checking for invasive plant or animal species;
  • Monitoring disease vectors;
  • Identifying exotic or endangered food products in markets; and
  • Detecting food mislabeling.


Our Barcoding First Test

As a DIYBio community, we decided to run our first testing in a DIY way. We used DIY lab ware like 3D printed gel electrophoresis tank, Blue LED transilluminator and DIY DNA extraction method.

We collected two plants sample nearby our lab and recorded their geographical location in iNaturalist app. We did the DNA extraction using commercial kit as well as our homemade DNA extraction recipe.


Our results

Yeah! We got our DNA bands! It proves our DIY DNA extraction methods and PCR works. Though there are still some adjustments needed to be made.

first test result


Our next step

Improve and run again to make the process goes more smoothly. Then we will organise a Barcoding workshop in our meetup to invite general public to try doing wet lab like a DIY biologist! Ultimately, we would like to provide education to general public.


Find out more:



Our First testing Lab Note:

Our first Newsletter!


Hello everyone. Welcome back in Hong Kong after the summer break!
DIYBIO Hong Kong is off to a great start and we will build on this to bring Biology to everyone in Hong Kong.

The following events are planned for the near future and we hope to see all of you there:
1) We will be joining the fight against Zika:
2) We will be learning about microbiology while making yogurt on Thursday the 8th of September.

3) Scott Evans will share the Hong Kong genome project: Bauhinia Genome in our second “Let’s Talk Biology” event.
Please keep an eye on both the Facebook Page and the Meetup page for announcements of other events as they are scheduled.

Thank you for everyone who came to our past events and helped to make them successful!
1) We held a 3D microscopy” event in partnership with Looking Glass and MakerBay on 16 June.
2) We made some great strawberry DNA cocktails

3) We learned from Professor King Chow about “Sensing trace minerals in the soil” during our first “Let’s Talk Biology” event on July 28.

4) We had an information session on what is DNA Barcoding by Gert.
5) Maria told us more about iGEM
6) We cooked delicious food and observed it under the microscope – twice!

food microscope

To see more photos of these events please visit our Facebook page:


In terms of equipment the here is a list of what we have currently – some of it was bought while some of was made:
1) PCR machine
pcr machine

2) Laminar cabinet

laminar flow cabinet

3) Incubator
4) Mini centrifuge
5) Micro pipets – 2 sets of 3
6) Hotplate
7) Some Glassware
8) Digital scale
9) 2 Compound microscopes
10) Gel electrophoresis tank
11) Blue LED transilluminator for viewing DNA bands after gel electrophoresis

blue led transilluminator-maria li lok yee

Some of our members are also in the process of building 3D Bio-printers.

If you are willing to donate to our lab, we will greatly appreciate any old lab equipment. We are also looking for an old microwave.

We are getting ready for the Barcode Hong Kong Project. The pieces we need to proceed are all falling into place! Would you like to help us set up the Indiegogo campaign? Please let us know! We need people with web design know how as well as people who can make great videos. If you can’t do one of those two things – come help too as your ideas will be most welcome!

Further in the pipeline we are also planning a Forensic Science workshop for secondary school students.

Come bring your ideas and enthusiasm! Let’s all work together to spread the wonder of Biology throughout Hong Kong!