Hacking the cell lineage tree: From 4D images of living cells to digital embryos

Miguel Luengo

Capturing the first moments of life of an embryo in a high-resolution 3D video is now possible with new microscopy techniques used to film fluorescent genetic-engineered zebrafish embryos. The zebrafish is used as reference for the study of cancer and stem cell research. To understand which is the fate of each cell of the organism during development, the Big Data produced by the microscopy techniques (videos with 1 Tera-voxels) have to be hacked using computer algorithms that are able to find and track the position and the shape of each of the cells of the organism during the development until the formation of organs – as the brain or the eyes.

In this talk, we’ll see how to reconstruct the “Digital Embryo” – a kind of GoogleMaps with the GPS coordinates of the address of each cell of an organism- with the purpose of understanding how a single cell (the zygote) transforms into a multi-cellular organism with a rich diversity of cells organized in spatio-temporal patterns.

Speaker: Dr. Miguel Luengo-Oroz is researcher in Innovative Health at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, CEI Moncloa. He has worked at the United Nations and in research visits at NASA and Ecole Polytechnique in France. Miguel has an antidisciplinary background on biomedical engineering (PhD), cognitive sciences (MSc) and telecommunications engineering (MSc). He is co-author of more than 25 scientific communications – including publications in the journal Science.

Biohacking and Brain Computer interfaces: the future of Human Computer Interaction

Pedro Lopes

As a discipline, Human Computer Interaction (HCI) has always wandered on the boundaries between art and science, mainly due to its multidisciplinary genealogy, but often because it is a process of envisioning and questioning the future. The ideas of Cyborg, Augmented Humans and Bio-Feedback have been strong research themes for decades in HCI.

However, two currents need to merge in order for us to grasp the “augmented human”: firstly, to sense and understand ourselves is crucial - reading and understanding our bio-signals and secondly, to let ourselves be controlled. Pedro Lopes keynote on the Leonardo Stage revolves around such matters, where art and science naturally meet to discuss how contemporary bodies will sound and look.

Speaker: Pedro Lopes is a musician and HCI researcher. He is a PhD student of Prof. Patrick Baudisch at the Human Computer Interaction Lab in the Hasso-Plattner-Institut, Potsdam. His research focuses on augmented humans, and novel interaction devices. As a musician, he plays custom-modified turntables and other analogue mediums.

Tasty Tweets, Experience Twitter trends through taste

Tasty Tweets

Have you ever wondered what twitter tastes like?

Tasty Tweets is a data visualization experiment that allows users to explore current twitter trends through taste, with a press of a button. Using the Twitter API, it collects tweets containing mentions of specific fruits such as blueberry, pineapple, apple and carrot and creates a smoothie that represents the blend. The smoothie is created based on the same proportions of fruits collected from the tweets. Because twitter trends change quickly, each smoothie has a unique palette of flavors.

Data from which the smoothie is created are graphically represented on a computer screen. It shows the proportions of flavors in the current smoothie as well as the most recent tweets from which the smoothie was created. Furthermore, a historic view of past smoothies allows users to compare trends over time.

To add another dimension to the visualization, Tasty Tweets is constructed in a way that makes it possible to layer the different juices within the glass. The layering of the juices results in a visual representation of the proportions of flavors in the smoothie – a graph in a glass. Tasty Tweets allows the user to experience twitter in a new way.

It is a result of a one week Data Visualization course at CIID, taught by Golan Levin (CMU) and Marcin Ignac. It is a fully functional prototype.

Speakers: Kostantinos Frantzis - Kat Zorina - Ruben van der Vleuten

Workshop - Workshop 2 area
Hacking Biological Data

Nowadays there is an increasing interest in Open Data from administrations but it's a long time relevant biological data is actually being published to the public domain. During this hands-on session we would like to show existing public available biological resources and explore how anyone, not necessarily from an academical background, can use and remix them in their own projects. The session aims to be a design/hack jam like session that, from existing bibliographic, taxonomy and genomic projects data, enables anyone to make tools that can potentially address biologically (or even personal) relevant questions. The only requirements: People with a hacking and remixing attitude.


Speakers: Toni Hermoso Pulido (@toniher) works as a Scientific Webmaker in a research centre in Barcelona. He is also a MediaWiki expert and a contributor to the Mozilla Project. As he truly believes that Web is a platform for collaboration, he is always exploring the potential of new web technologies for building apps and services. One of Toni's present focus is designing tools that can allow people to learn and hack with scientific open data.


Alina Mierlus (@alina_mierlus) is a Mozillian, facilitator and community and events geek. Based in Barcelona, she co-organized the first Design Jam BCN and a couple of other hackjams and workshops around community building and web development. Alina is focused on how to engage people from different areas and help them create things on the web. Presently, she is looking for ways to bring the open source ethos to public spaces and different kind of communities.

New editions