They fought the law, and the law won

Back to work for the Herald yesterday!

Over the weekend, nine inmates at the Middlesex County Jail in Cambridge decided to have a little holiday fun and proceeded to destroy the sprinkler system in their cell block, flooding their floor and the floor below. This particular jail is at the top of an old county courthouse, sitting 17 floors up. Makes it hard to escape, for sure, but all that water also knocked out the power, and thus, the elevators. It was not a pretty scene.

I was sent in the day after to get some pictures of the cleanup (Herald story). Most of it was done before I got there, as they needed to get all that water out of there before they could actually do the cleaning. All the inmates were evacuated, as well, except for a few who were on work duty to bag and tag belongings.

Here’s a shot of a few of these guys at work, unidentifiable, of course.

7.6.2009 - CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Inmates at the Middlesex County Jail begin cleanup on the 18th floor of the building, where nine inmates flooded the Tiers 18 A and C the day before, in Cambridge, Mass., on July 6, 2009. The inmates broke the sprinkler system, which also flooded onto the 17th floor of the jail with about 9,000 gallons of water.

7.6.2009 - CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Inmates at the Middlesex County Jail begin cleanup on the 18th floor of the building, where nine inmates flooded the Tiers 18 A and C the day before, in Cambridge, Mass., on July 6, 2009. The inmates broke the sprinkler system, which also flooded onto the 17th floor of the jail with about 9,000 gallons of water.

Oh, but I wasn’t done, yet. Headed over to MIT to get a quick portrait of some guys who started this company called Ginko BioWorks, which manufactures custom DNA strains. That in itself is not the cool part, but rather the extreme low cost that is now prevalent in the field (Herald story).

7.6.2009 - CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Ginko BioWorks founders Jason Kelly, center,  and Tom Knight, right, started their biotech company to provide custom DNA manufacturing. Based out of MIT, the company uses robotics, like Sue, the machine in the foreground, and their lab to create specialized strains of DNA or bacteria to their clients. They also have enlisted the help of Mack Cowell, left, to help create do-it-yourself biology kits, or DIY Bio, to help amateur biologists, like Cowell, sequence and study strains of bacteria or DNA they find on their own.

7.6.2009 - CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Ginko BioWorks founders Jason Kelly, center, and Tom Knight, right, started their biotech company to provide custom DNA manufacturing. Based out of MIT, the company uses robotics, like Sue, the machine in the foreground, and their lab to create specialized strains of DNA or bacteria to their clients. They also have enlisted the help of Mack Cowell, left, to help create do-it-yourself biology kits, or DIY Bio, to help amateur biologists, like Cowell, sequence and study strains of bacteria or DNA they find on their own.

According to the co-founder, Jason, this robot in the foreground cost them $500 on eBay! As a result, they’re also diving into the field of Do-it-yourself Bio, or DIY Bio, with their friend Mack, left, who calls himself an “amateur biologist.” With costs so low, they’re preparing kits where regular people at home can swab their own cultures that they find, send it out to the lab and get their own DNA sequencing. Cool stuff!

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