★·.·´¯`·.·★ 𝘽𝙞𝙤𝙢𝙤𝙡𝙚𝙘𝙪𝙡𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝘽𝙞𝙤𝙥𝙤𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙨
𝙃𝙤𝙧𝙢𝙤𝙣𝙚𝙨 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙄𝙣𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝘽𝙞𝙤𝙥𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙧! ★·.·´¯`·.·★






Open Source Estrogen combines do-it-yourself science, body and gender politics, and ecological ramifications of the present. It is a form of biotechnical civil disobedience. In response to the various biopolitics of hormonal control on female and trans bodies prescribed by governments and institutions, the project aims to develop a system of DIY/DIWO protocols for the emancipation of the estrogen biomolecule. What is the feasibility of citizen science-based approach to synthesizing hormones? How can the recontextualization of laboratory biochemistry to an open source recipe outline the esoteric procedures and knowledge that are required to carry out such a process?
In addition to production of lay-scientific protocols is a critical analysis into the institutional access of hormonal estrogen -- who or what does its distribution prioritize or pathologize? The pharmaceutical industry has dictated the primary applications of estrogen biomolecule in birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. The pill is a politically-charged product that is both a tool for population control and liberation from reproductive labour and domesticity (the recent Zika virus outbreak necessitates contraceptive access as pregnant women and their offspring are at highest risk). Hormone replacement therapy is even harder to come by, requiring the diagnosis of gender dysphoria as a psychological condition for justifying its treatment. Thus we ask: can biological intervention free our societally-bound bodies through mutation at the molecular level?


In our scientific methods, we do not seek techno-solutionism.
With the creation of a DIY estrogen protocol, increased endocrinological know-how and body sovereignty, becomes a public platform for discussing the ethics of self-administering self-synthesized hormones. What physiological dangers are posed with potential overdosing and exposure to impurities, and what will people trade in return for wresting greater control over their bodies? Can we look to bio-technoscientific capabilities for eradicating gender binaries in human society? What does this say to the current reproductive havoc on ecosystems as a result of endocrine disrupting compounds in industrialized and polluted bodies of water? How is toxicity uneven across gender, class, and race? Can we harness the potential to emancipate not only female, trans, and queer bodies from pharmaco capitalism and institutionalized hormones but also the bodies of non-human species, extending feminist health care across species of our shared environment?




Open Source Estrogen on residency during Interactivos'16?: Possible Worlds in Madrid, Spain with collaborators: Byron Rich, Gaia Leandra, Paula Pin, Amanda Padilla, and Carlos Gamez 

















 ✭ 𝕶𝖎𝖙𝖈𝖍𝖊𝖓-𝕷𝖆𝖇𝖔𝖗𝖆𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖞 𝕾𝖚𝖇𝖛𝖊𝖗𝖘𝖎𝖔𝖓 ✭



***This project pays homage to the pioneers of cyberfeminist art (subRosa) and transhackfeminist projects (Pechblenda, Gynepunk Lab) as well as current efforts in the diybio/biohacking community (Open Source Insulin) in providing greater access to our own bodies.




































#00 CHICKEN EGG EXTRACTION
(BIRDS OF ESTROGENIC PARADISE)




Let's begin with a speculative idea. Let's say you've identified an area with estrogen toxicity. Can chickens raised in estrogen-polluted environments deposit hormones in their eggs yolks, thereby serving as the open source estrogen? Perhaps chickens can be genetically enhanced to produce estrogens in their eggs, modified through DIY avian transgenics.

So why chickens? Shortly after Dolly the Sheep was cloned, scientists set out to create Brittany the Chicken. Brittany would be genetically modified to lay eggs containing pharmaceutical drugs in her egg whites, symbolizing a union between Big Pharma and poultry industry that is centered on the womb of this domesticated animal. One could say that women share a similar reproductive burden. From the egg donor industry to harvesting of fetal material, women have had their bodies commodified for the biotech industry since the 70s. In addition to the heavy investment in reproductive technologies marketed towards women is the cult of domesticity, enforced through socio-cultural brainwashing and heteronormative roles. Is a woman like a caged chicken, an organism factory producing eggs?

The "chicken-as-open-source-estrogen" idea draws a strong narrative metaphor between the fate of women and chickens being one and the same.




-- Steroids in chicken egg yolk: Metabolism and uptake during early embryonic development (2009)
-- Measuring Steroid Hormones in Avian Eggs (2005)
-- Egg Yolk Layers Vary in the Concentration of Steroid Hormones in Two Avian Species (1999)
-- Yolk is a source of maternal testosterone for developing birds (1993)




#01 YEAST ESTROGEN FACTORIES



A synthetic biology approach where the metabolic pathway of yeast is genetically engineered to produce estrogen from a cholesterol precursor. This is however a daunting task, as five genes encoding five different enzymes must be knocked into the yeast for synthesis of estrogen from a cholesterol precursor.


ENZYMES (metabolic pathway from cholesterol to estradiol)


  1. (cholesterol monooxygenase side-chain-cleaving 31,800bp) 
  2. (CYP17A1 780bp)
  3. (CYP17A1)
  4. (3beta-hydroxy-Delta5-steroid dehydrogenase) 
  5. (steroid Delta-isomerase)
  6. (aromatase; CYP19A1)
  7. (estradiol dehydrogenase)







#02 Agrobacterium Mediated Transformation (Hormonal Plants)


Used in tobacco plants that alters the plant’s natural sterol production pathway. This method is currently being explored by artist Ryan Hammond in Open Source Gendercodes http://opensourcegendercodes.com/projects/osg/




#03 (Xeno) Estrogen Recycling


Can urinary estrogens be extracted, purified and recycled back into the body and/or Xenoestrogens from the environment, refined into a potentially useable form to be re-injected as a kind of ritual for taking responsibility for the environmental toxicity generated by human activity?


 

REFERENCES:
Feminist Biopolitics
-- Xenofeminism: a politics for alienation, Laboria Cuboniks
-- Sonogram of a Potential
-- Notes on the Cult of Domesticity and True Womanhood, Catherine J. Lavender
-- Precarious Labor: A Feminist Viewpoint, Silvia Federici
-- Feminism and the Politics of the Commons, Silvia Federici
-- Seizing the Means of Reproduction, Michelle Murphy
-- Unsettling care: Troubling transnational itineraries of care in feminist health practices, Michelle Murphy
-- Biopolitics and the Female Reproductive Body as the New Subject of Law, Allaine Cerwonka and Anna Loutfi
-- Feminist Bioplitics, Reconstructing Space through Organized Feminism
-- menstruationresearch.org
-- Museum of Menstruation & Women’s Health
-- Cult of Domesticity, wikipedia
-- Oral History of the First Cyberfeminists, Motherboard
-- We Are the Future Cunt, Motherboard
-- W.I.T.C.H. (Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell)
-- Semiotics of the Kitchen, Martha Rosler (1975)
-- subRosa cyberfeminist art collective
-- Why are women chickens or cows, cyberfeminism interrogates biotechnology
-- Expo Emmagenics! by subRosa
-- Thinking Like a Chicken: Farm Animals And The Feminine Connection by Karen Davis

Herms, Trans, Queer, Intersex Bodies
-- Open Source Gendercodes, Ryan Hammond
-- Gender Trouble, Judith Butler
-- Testo Junkie, Beatriz Preciado
-- Pharmacopornography: An Interview with Beatriz Preciado
-- Intersex Society of North America
-- One in 2000 (documentary)
-- The Five Sexes, Anne Fausto-Sterling
-- Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling website, Fields of inquiry
-- Hermaphrodites with Attitude, Cheryl Chase
-- Stop Trans Pathologization
-- The Logic of Gender, Maya Gonzales

-- Baedan, Journal of Queer Time Travel
-- Transgender History, Susan Stryker
-- Biological Notion of Self and Non-self (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
-- How Male to Female Sex Reassignment Surgery Really Works (youtube)
-- Hormone Therapy: Hormone References (GID.info)
-- Sub Reddit group on DIY Trans
-- Sketchy Pharmacies Are Selling Hormones to Transgender People, The Atlantic (2016)

DIY Gynecology
-- GYNEpunk: Autonomous gynecologyLAB
-- GynePunks: A hacker’s guide to reimagining women’s health
-- TransHackFeminism (THF!)
-- Pechblenda
-- Cyborg witches of DIY Gynecology, Makery
-- GynePunk, tumblr
-- Anarchagland, tumblr
-- 3D-printed speculum, thingiverse, Gaudilabs
-- Meet the Gynepunks pushing the boundaries of DIY gynecology
-- Health Heresy Kit
-- Poussy Draama's mobile doctor's office is challenging sex ed norms in america
-- Female Ugandan students create app that detects vaginal bacteria
-- Tampon of the Future, NY Times
-- Becoming machine-witch-plant, Aniara Rodado
-- Female Genital Anatomy (Boston University School of Sexual Medicine)
-- Vulvacademy (Amy Stenzel)
-- Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Oral Contraceptives
-- Carl Djerassi, wikipedia
-- Bill Gates Foundation working on “Birth Control Chip”
-- The perfect birth control for men is here, Motherboard
-- Jungle Laboratories: Mexican Peasants, National Projects, and the Making of the Pill
-- History of Birth Control Pill
-- How the Pill Became a Lifestyle Drug: The Pharmaceutical Industry and Birth Control in the United States Since 1960







ESTROZINE 1.1





ESTROFEM LAB :: ESTROGEN GEEKING
RESEARCH + WORKSHOPOLOGY + FREAK SCIENCE ON MICROCOLONIZATION OF HORMONAL MOLECULES









This research-based project is dedicated to the development of an "estrogen hack lab" or ESTROFEM LAB -- a set of tools, protocols, and wetware for low-cost, accessible, participatory estrogen hacking + workshopology, necessitated by its genesis project, Open Source Estrogen (2015), the biopolitics of estrogen colonization and microperformativity. Regarded sometimes as hobo science, freak science, and public amateurism, the Estrofem Lab and its workshopologies aim to detect and extract estrogen from "sources with meaning," providing the contextual framework for why we hack estrogen, and why we perform science as citizens and (hack)activists. This ongoing artistic investigation has led to creation of yeast estrogen sensors (YES-HER yeast) containing human estrogen receptor for detection, vacuum pump solid phase extraction (SPE) using cigarette filters and smashed silica gel, and reverse phase column chromatography using broken glass bottles and methanol. I hope this website serves as a resource for others interested in the ongoing hormonal mutations and reproductive havocs that saturate our shared environments !




The project aims to hack the hormones present in our bodies and our present environment, creating a non-institutional portal for hormone access as well as a cultural dialogue for biopolitics. In response to the various ways hormones (such as estrogen) performs a molecular colonization on our bodies and ecosystems, how do we as affected persons effectively respond? Can we use civic action to create DIY/DIWO protocols and recipes for hacking estrogen that are founded in equity and accessibility? From detection to extraction to synthesis, these estrogen recipes function as social resistance, as consciousness-raising, as DIY therapy, as gender-hacking. Institutions and scientific fields produce fictions about how bodies should be gendered and how they should reproduce, perpetuating a standard of normalcy that is exclusionary and touting hormones as the biological determinant of sexual identities. Thus, present hormone therapies both pathologize bodies and at the same time prioritize access over others. However, hormones such as xenoestrogens exist with their own agency. They can be characterized as a form of slow violence because its mutagenizing effects are so gradual and difficult to perceive. On the other hand, endocrine disruption implies a perspective for what writer Heather Davis calls a "queering futurity." If we are living in an all-pervasive, anthropocentric toxicity, then this challenges society's prescribed notions of normalcy, of binary bodies. The project acknowledges our bodies as permeable, mutable entities that are becoming increasing alien, and proposes to use "the becoming" as an agent for resistance. DIY/DIWO biohacking can function as a tool for creating new entry points and subjectivities, combating traditional power structures responsible for the production of knowledge, of bodies, and of technoscience. From these xeno-forces arise xeno-solidarities, capable of collectively hacking the systems of hormonal control.




SUMMARY OF 3 PROTOCOLS


YES-HER YEAST BIOSENSORS 





URINE HORMONE EXTRACTION ACTION 






DIY SOLID PHASE EXTRACTION 








✴!-RESEARCH-!✴✴!-RESEARCH-!✴✴!-RESEARCH-!✴




WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS OF ESTROGEN DE-REGULATION? CAN WE EXTEND FEMINIST HEALTH CARE TO BODIES OF NON-HUMAN SPECIES, CREATING A SORT OF GYNECOLOGICAL CLINIC FOR WATER BODIES? Xenoestrogens come in many flavors: birth control pills, plasticizers, pesticides, the list goes on and on. Furthermore, estrogen is the most ancient of sex hormones, meaning the mutagenic effects of environmental xenoestrogens disrupt species across all vertebrate taxa. We are all collectively mutating, becoming alien and no longer fitting the binary norm. Can we mobilize biohacking and civic action to create new subjectivities on these ongoing anthropocentric toxicities? Do we want to be more alien than we already are?



https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/



macro level




The above shows points of entry of endocrine-disrupting compounds into the water supply. While EE2 (Ethinyl estradiol, estrogen derivative found in oral contraceptives) is more chemically potent than other estrogenic compounds, the amount of EE2 consumed by women using oral contraceptive is significantly less than the other sources described above. As an example, the volume of veterinary estrogens given to livestock each year in the US is five times the volume of EE2 consumed by women who use hormonal birth control methods.

micro level



Examples of interaction between xenoestrogens and estrogen signaling pathways. Some xenoestrogens, such as tributyltins, can inhibit aromatase, the enzyme responsible for the conversion of androgens in estrogens, resulting in the perturbation of the androgen/estrogen balance. Other groups of compounds can interfere with estrogenic signaling by competing with natural estrogens for binding to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), resulting in defects in E2 plasma transport.





One of the greatest paradoxes of living in the Anthropocene is that we never intended for these industrial molecules to communicate in our shared molecular semiosphere - but they do. Scientists attribute this to the estrogen receptor being highly promiscuous, the opposite of selective. Furtheremore this receptor is highly ancient and conserved amongst all animal/vertebrate taxa, meaning we share this collective mutagenesis with non-human as well. 




REFERENCES:

TOXIC ECO-BODIES // ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION
-- Macho Waters: Some river pollution spawns body-altering steroids
-- Stephane Horel research on Endocrine Disruption
-- Toxipedia: connecting science and people
-- Our Stolen Future (worldwide attention to endocrine disruption)
-- An Assessment of Potential Exposure and Risk from Estrogens in Drinking Water (2010)
-- Occurrence of Estrogen in Wastewater Treatment Plant and Waste Disposal Site Water Samples
-- Tracking an Elusive Chemical: Estrogen, David Griffith, Woods Hole Ocean Institution (2011)
-- Pesticide atrazine can turn male frogs into females, Robert Sanders (2010)
-- Collapse of a fish population after exposure to a synthetic estrogen (2007)
-- Natural and Synthetic Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs) in Water Sediment and Biota of Coastal Lagoon (2007)
-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Endocrine Disruption
-- Anogenital distance index (wikipedia)
-- Human health implications of exposure to xenoestrogens from food, thesis by Barbara Mary Thomson (2005)
-- Silencing the Scientist: Tyrone Hayes on Being Targeted By Herbicide Firm Syngenta (YouTube)
-- "The toxic baby" Tyrone Hayes ~ Syngenta's Atrazine herbicide TED TALKS (YouTube)

CITIZEN WATER MONITORING
-- Biodesign for the Real World Wiki
-- Polluted River Anoia (hotglue.me)
-- BLYES (BioLuminescent Yeast Estrogen Screen) by Avery Louie, BosLabs (2012)
-- Open Water Project, Public Lab and Center for Civic Media
-- Environmental Estrogen Testing, Public Lab
-- Environmental Health Clinic, Natalie Jeremijenko
-- Estrogen detecting swimsuit, Rebecca Lieberman

BIRTH CONTROL PILLS & WATER
-- Are Oral Contraceptives a Significant Contributor to the Estrogenicity of Drinking Water? (2010)
-- Birth Control Hormones In Water: Separating Myth From Fact (2011)
-- Male Frogs May Be Turning Female Thanks to Estrogen in Suburban Waste, Douglas Main (2015)
-- Determination of steroid estrogens in wastewater treatment plant of a contraceptives producing factory


SPECIAL THANKS TO GAIA LEANDRA, PAULA PIN, CARLOS GAMEZ, AMANDA PADILLA, MARC DUSJAGR, JOSIAH ZAYNER OF THE ODIN, SACHIKO, KATE ADAMALA, SPELA PETRIC, RUDIGER TROJOK, NOAH JAKIMO, VANESSA J. CHEUNG, DAVID KONG, ALEX GARRUSS, AND EVERYBODY WHO HAS EVER HAD A CONVERSATION/DISCUSSION WITH ME ABOUT ESTROGENS, DETECTION, URINE EXTRACTION, ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES, AND ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION!







YES-HER YEAST BIOSENSORS
DOES IT SAY (YES) TO (hER)?



Because endocrine disrupting compounds are usually found in minimal amounts (ng/L-1) in the water, one of the most common techniques for their detection is liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS). But this approach is very expensive to perform on a routine basis, requiring both skilled personnel and a robust quality assurance/control program. Maybe biology is the answer... The YES-YEAST (yeast estrogen sensor) are a genetically modified strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (W303) that contain Human Estrogen Receptor (HER). They act as a biosensor: the input is estrogen and the output is a yellow color change. More importantly, the YES yeast are extensions of our bodies: what binds to their receptors also bind to ours, demonstrating a DIRECT biological response to xenoestrogens on our bodies. The same process of estrogen binding and activation is reproduced in the yeast. This bioassay detection method is more sensitive than the chemical approach either detecting estrogenic target compounds at lower concentrations, other non-target compounds, and synergistic effects that chemical methods and machines fail to detect.

This is both a "part two" of the Open Source Estrogen project as well as the Final Project for HTGAA, which combines lectures (1) "Synthetic Minimal Cells" with Kate Adamala, (2) "Bio-production" with Patrick Boyle, (3) "Computational Protein Design" with Srivatsan Raman, and (4) "Tools, Automation, and Open Hardware."





RCBA: Recombinant Yeast Cell BioAssay
A study by Duke University shows yeast cells transformed with plasmids encoding human estrogen receptor linked to a reporter gene have both high specificity and sensitivity for estrogen detection (specifically 17-beta-estradiol) as compared with human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and uterotrophic assays with mouse uterine weight bioassay. The recombinant yeast were also sensitive to synthetic xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens. Another key advantage is the absence of xenobiotic biotransformation activity, in other words, the yeast did not alter the chemical composition of the analyte through metabolism, mineralization, etc.

Here is an image of the plasmid inside recombinant yeast (you can purchase one from Addgene repository for $65 and start your yeast assays) accompanied by this paper from Tulane University (2009). The plasmid encodes Human Estrogen Receptor (HER). Upon exposure to estrogen, the cell begins to produce an enzyme called beta-galactosidase (part of the LacZ expression system) which creates yellow nitrophenol product when you add ONPG substrate along with the estrogen sample. The YES-yeast then have to be lysed (killed!) to see the yellow color.




SAY (YES) TO (hER)! & BLYES
This is YES: Yeast Estrogen Screen, nicely illustrated by Avery Louie. It interacts with hER: Human Estrogen Receptor (coded by pSCW231-hER in diagram), causing expression of beta-galactosidase (yellowish color that can be read colormetrically or with spectrophotometer in media). Combine with bacterial luciferase, and you get BLYES: BioLuminescent Yeast Estrogen Screen. Big Science has it too! XenoMEtrix Online Product Protocol


***this is (so far) the most feasible method for low-cost, diy estrogen detection!!







COOL, LET'S DO IT.





STEP #1: PLASMID PURIFICATION


THE ADDGENE PLASMID ARRIVES IN AN AGAR STAB OF AMP-RESISTANT ECOLI. GROW UP OVERNIGHT IN LIQUID CULTURE (LB SPIKED WITH AMP), THEN RUN DNA PURIFICATION USING OMEGA BIO-TEK DNA MINI PREP, SPIN PROTOCOL. USING NANODROP, PLASMID CONCENTRATION WAS ASSESSED TO BE AROUND 80-100ng/ul WITH LITTLE TO NO PROTEIN CONTAMINATION BASED ON 260/280 RATIO.






STEP #2: YEAST TRANSFORMATION



THE YEAST STRAIN USED WAS W303a OF S. cerevisiae. THREE TRANSFORMATIONS (YT) WERE MADE: 1) YT IN 40MIN HEAT SHOCK 2) YT IN 20 HEAT SHOCK 3) CONTROL (NO DNA). 1uL OF PLASMID WAS USED TO TRANSFORM 3mL OF YEAST CELL CULTURE AND INCUBATED AT 30C FOR 3 DAYS. ALTHOUGH THERE WAS CONTAMINATION IN YT40 AND CONTROL, NO YEAST WERE PRESENT IN THE CONTROL.










STEP #3: ESTROGEN BIOSENSING
DOES IT SAY [YES] TO [HER]?


SUPER IMPORTANT TO REFERENCE THIS NATURE PROTOCOL, but I will try to summarize here.

DAY ONE: take a transformed yeast colony and make a liquid culture with 10mL SC(-)TRP (This is the selective media containing no tryptophan. The transformed yeast should survive without trp, other strains cannot). Incubate overnight @30C with tube shaking.


CHECK OUT THIS DIY TUBE SHAKER BY DAN CHEN. IT FITS IN THE MAGICFLY CHICKEN EGG INCUBATOR $73 ON AMAZON. This is especially nice for compact traveling.



DAY TWO: Make a 100-fold dilution of your overnight culture by taking 50uL and diluting in 5mL of SC(-)TRP.

To test the transformed yeast for estrogen detection, you should work with KNOWN amounts of estrogen. I purchased some Estradiol from Sigma Aldrich to make a 100mM estrogen stock that I will use for dilutions.

Put 1uL of each estrogen dilution into 100uL of overnight yeast culture. Incubate overnight 18hrs @30C. No need to rotate.




DAY THREE: LAC Z REPORTING.

First check cell density using spectrophotometer @600nm.

0.2% sarkosyl & Z buffer stock preparation: Measure and dissolve 2g sarkosyl in 10mL Z buffer.

10X ONPG preparation: (***needs refrigeration 4C) Measure and dissolve 0.4g ONPG in 10mL Z buffer.

ON DAY OF: ***this is good for 8 assays*** Make the mix-mix 200uL 10x ONPG + 1.8mL Z buffer + 2uL 1M DTT = 2mL TOTAL (for example, 12 assays = 400uL 10x ONPG + 3.6mL Z buffer + 4uL 1M DTT = 4mL TOTAL). Add 225uL of mix-mix to 25uL of yeast. Incubate in 37C water bath for 30-60min. When you see yellow color change, add 100 uL 1M sodium carbonate to stop the reaction.Read color change using spectrophotometer @405nm (measuring the nitrophenol product).

results!





REFERENCES
-- iGEM RESEARCH ARTICLE: Development and Characterization of Fluorescent and Luminescent Biosensors for Estrogenic Activity (2016)
-- Estrogenic Activity of Surfactants Assessed Using a Recombinant Yeast Screen (1995) This is the first time YES was made
-- Use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae BLYES expressing bacterial bioluminescence for rapid, sensitive detection of estrogenic compounds (2005) Good BLYES paper
-- Bioluminescent yeast assays for detecting estrogenic and androgenic activity in different matrices (2005) (another BLYES)
-- Bioluminescent yeast estrogen assay (BLYES) as a sensitive tool to monitor surface and drinking water for estrogenicity (2011) How you test on environmental samples
-- Bioluminescent yeast-reporter systems for screening chemicals for estrogenic and androgenic effects
-- Single Plasmids Expressing Human Steroid Hormone Receptors and a Reporter Gene for Use in Yeast Signaling Assays (2009) this is the YES plasmid I used
-- pRR-ERalpha-5Z (Addgene repository - $65)
-- Evaluation of a recombinant yeast cell estrogen screening assay (1997) (YES paper)
-- A Yeast Estrogen Screen for Examining the Relative Exposure of Cells to Natural and Xenoestrogens (1996)
-- Hormone Binding and Transcription Activation by Estrogen Receptors: Analyses using Mammalian and Yeast Systems (1993)


          



URINE HORMONE EXTRACTION ACTION




CLICK FOR THE PROTOCOL PDF




First prototypes during Interactivos'16?: Possible Worlds in Madrid, Spain with collaborators: Byron Rich, Gaia Leandra, Paula Pin, Amanda Padilla, and Carlos Gamez 


Experimentations in the Slovenian mountains... thanks PIF camp!


SPECIAL THANKS TO SPELA PETRIC FOR HER AMAZING CONSULTATIONS ON URINE EXTRACTION!





MATERIALS




Every sample that you are trying to test for estrogens or extract estrogens from must be treated differently, whether it is a river sample or a urine sample. This particular method has been performed multiple times for urine samples. However, the final product is a COLLECTION of sex hormones, steroidal molecules in general. To isolate only estrogen would require a further step of purification, which needs to be further investigated. The setup is fairly simple and DIY. You need: glass bottle, silica gel (desiccant), cigarette filters, parafilm, methanol, water, and a urine sample. After eluting, allow the methanol to evaporate until what is left is a brown sticky substance. (Time can vary depending on your method of evaporation). Congrats, you have hormones -- technically pheromones, now that they're acting outside the body.





DIY SOLID PHASE EXTRACTION




This method is particularly good for general water samples, such as river, tap, holy water, etc... Large water samples tend to be extremely dilute and/or contain other particles and microbes that would interfere with your detection method (assuming it is YES-HER yeast). Therefore the DIY Vacuum Pump Solid Phase Extraction is a necessary step prior to detection. This method was adapted from a Portuguese paper that listed detailed instructions on materials and construction of such a device. We hacked it by replacing the expensive, lab-grade cartridges with cigarette filters. Turns out, cigarette filters are made of pure cellulose acetate (you know this because they dissolve to liquid when you pour acetone on them), which is a great nonpolar substrate. After running the solid phase extraction, the sex hormones will be trapped inside the filters which you would then need to elute with methanol. Make sure the methanol evaporates before running detection with YES-yeast.





First prototypes during Interactivos'16?: Possible Worlds in Madrid, Spain with  collaborators: Byron Rich, Gaia Leandra, Paula Pin, Amanda Padilla, and Carlos Gamez


Experiments extracting hormonal molecules from river samples in Kali Code, the most heavily polluted river in Yogyakarta, Indonesia


MOBILE LAB WORKSHOPOLOGY


Sometimes I tell people I’m an oestrohacker, or that I make freak science , or that I’m a deranged housewife cooking hormones in the kitchen. Despite the embedded sarcasm, it’s how I can communicate a practice which is beyond an artist working in a laboratory who inserts experiments from one white box (the laboratory) into another (the gallery). While it was important for me to “get my hands wet” in laboratory practice, it was equally, if not more important for my practice to “leave” the laboratory and interact with the bodies, environments, and discourses to which it pertains.

Workshopology describes collaborative hands-on experimentation as an iterative process and design strategy that takes feedback from its own mishaps, accidents, and participant experiences in order to develop new methodologies in the future. I first encountered the term “workshopology” during an event called HackteriaLab14 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia organized by the global online network Hackteria: Open Source Biological Art and the local Indonesian community, Lifepatch citizen initiatives in art, science, and technology. In the workshops and events I experienced a kind of horizontal knowledge transfer that was without hierarchy of the expert nor the mimicking of typical laboratory design. Related is the ethos of homo ludens, the concept of communal playing, tinkering, and geeking as an important element for intimate knowledge acquisition of the material and the cultural production around it. In my geeking, tinkering, and research, I emancipate the estrogen molecule from its black box, collaborate with people outside my own discipline, and disseminate my findings.

The result of several workshopologies is the Estrofem! Lab , a mobile bio-lab containing tools and protocols to hack the hormones present in our bodies and our environment, creating a potential non-institutional portal for hormone access as well as a cultural dialogue for biopolitics. Often regarded as hobo science, freak science, or public amateurism, the Estrofem! Lab and its workshopologies aim to detect and extract estrogen from "sources with meaning," providing the contextual framework for why we hack estrogen, and why we perform science as citizens and (hack)activists. While we may not be policy makers nor activists on the front lines, hacking together nonetheless constitutes a kind of micro-resistance against the neoliberal patriarchal systems of hormonal control and pollution.






Open Source Estrogen @
Spring Workshop
(Hong Kong)





Open Source Estrogen @
Nature Animee
(Vienna, Austria) 

Open Source Estrogen @
University of Puget Sound
(Tacoma, WA, USA)





Open Source Estrogen @
Double Union Hackerspace
(Oakland, CA, USA)

Open Source Estrogen @
Arizona Festival of DIY Cultures 

Open Source Estrogen @
Squeaky Wheel
(Buffalo, NY, USA)
in collaboration with Byron Rich

Open Source Estrogen @
CKSTER Gender Hacking Festival 
(Berne, Switzerland)



Open Source Estrogen @
PIKSEL ZERO LEVEL
(Bergen, Norway)




Open Source Estrogen @
Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) XI
(New York City, USA)

Open Source Estrogen @
PIF CAMP: Alpine Hacktivation
(Soca Valley, Slovenia)


Open Source Estrogen @
Art Meets Radical Openness
(Linz, Austria)
in collaboration with Byron Rich


Open Source Estrogen @
ISEA HONG KONG in
collaboration with Byron Rich