We Like: Personal Experiments, Labster, and Thingiverse Reply

Personal Experiments

Many of us ‘try something out’ to improve our lives, but how do we know if the changes we make are really helping us? PersonalExperiments.org allows you to use the tools of science to objectively track how well a treatment or lifestyle change is working for you. You can search a catalog of possible treatments for your condition,  measure your day-to-day symptoms, evaluate the efficacy of your treatments, and connect to health-tracking devices like FitBit. You can also choose to share what you’re learning publicly to help other site users explore treatment options. It’s like conducting your own personal clinical trial!


Labster is a virtual laboratory that allows its users to perform experiments that, in the real world, would require millions of dollars worth of sophisticated lab equipment. Its uses video game-esqe technology to break down the traditional, follow-the-instructions, lab teaching method, and alters it to allow students to follow an inquiry based approach. Labster users can choose their actions, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes. The company’s hope is that the use of gamification will reignite students’ interest in biotechnology, a subject that many are dropping out of early in their university degrees.



Thingiverse is a place where people can share their digital designs with the world. The site’s owners believe that just as computing shifted away from the mainframe into the personal computer, digital fabrication will shift from large manufacturers only to individuals. Laser cutters, CNC machines, 3-D printers, and even automated paper cutters are all getting cheaper by the day. As more people own these machines, Thingiverse hopes to continue to build a community of people who create and share digital designs freely, so that all can benefit from them.

One of our own Lilly COI technologists, Andy Chen, used his 3-D printer to make a Wheeled Inchworm toy. The design was inspired by a wooden toy he’d seen at his niece’s house. It is currently listed as one of the site’s “featured things.”


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