Brain Bee, Saturday January 31st

Fascinated by the human brain? If so, take part in the 3rd annual Pacific Northwest Brain Bee Competition hosted at the University of Washington. This Q & A format competition is designed to test your knowledge of the human brain and neuroscience.
WHO: Students from grades 9-12 from Seattle and the Puget
Sound Area.
WHAT: Prizes for 1st and 2nd place. Snacks for everybody.
WHERE: Waterfront Activity Center, University of Washington, Seattle.
For a map, go to
WHEN: Saturday, January 31, 2015, 2 PM to 4 PM.
HOW: 1) Register with the organizer, Dr. Natalia Murinova, at
2) Download the free “Brain Facts” publication at
3) Study the information in this publication to prepare for the
For details email or

Interested in joining an iGEM team or learning more about it?

This week we’re talking about one of the driving movements of DIY-bio: the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition (iGEM). Started as a means of increasing the size and quality of the online “biobrick” registry, iGEM asks undergraduate, high school, and community teams to use new and existing genetic cassettes to build biological systems that function in living cells.  Started in 2004 with 5 teams, the popularity of iGEM has risen in tandem with the growth of synthetic biology, seeing over 240 teams at the undergraduate level jamboree in 2014.

Come learn about this critical element of the modern DIY-bio movement. We will discuss how it’s affected the community, and the exciting projects iGEM teams have produced. Join us this Wednesday, December 17th from 7-9PM at Ada’s Technical Books, 425 15th Ave. E.

How does the DIY-bio community use DNA in synthetic biology?

Pop Quiz! What stores more information: 14,000 Blu-ray videos, or a single gram of DNA?

Don’t know the answer? Brush up on your knowledge of DNA – the workhorse of synthetic biology- as we discuss its role in DIY-bio. The discussion will start with a review of the tools we employ to access and utilize DNA, as well as what technologies and techniques are being used in other DIY-labs across the world.  Find us at Ada’s Technical Books (425 15th Ave. E) this Wednesday December 3rd from 7-9PM and be part of conversation.

What’s in the Biohacker Toolkit?

“Man is a tool-using agent…without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.”

These words by the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle highlight the critical role of having the right tool for any endeavor. For biohackers, finding the best instrument for the job can represent one of the biggest challenges to participating in DIY-biology. Fortunately, we live in an era during which access to these tools is increasingly prevalent. From open source PCR machines and 3D printing to unique fabrication companies like Metrix Create: Space, this week’s discussion will focus on how the biohacker toolkit affects the progress of synbio. Join the conversation this Wednesday, Nov 19th at 7-9PM.

***EDIT : We have an exciting change of venue for this week’s discussion group. We will be meeting at Metrix Create:Space located at 623 Broadway E, in Capitol Hill.  For direction and more information about the makerspace, see their website.

Contact Valerie Sexton with any questions or comments at 210.464.7292.

New Class! Phylogenetics: The Science of Organizing the Biological World

Historically, evolutionary relationships were determined by what an organism looks like, or its phenotype. With modern DNA analysis technology we are able to classify relationships based on genes, or genotype. How can we use Phylogenetics, the study of evolutionary classification systems, to learn about plants, animals and microbes in the world around us? In this workshop, we will learn about evolutionary history by looking at characteristics of organisms from today and how the environment shapes everything around us.

Join us and Dr. Joshua Schraiber, a computational biologist working to unravel the basis of functional genomic evolution in yeast and humans through a combination of mathematical modeling, big data analysis and data generation!

Register for this exciting new class at this link!

Eyeball Dissection and Anatomy November 15th

Only a few days left to reserve your eye for the next round of our Eyeball Dissection class with Anna McCann, MSc on November 15th at 2pm.

This is a great opportunity to try something new and learn about what makes the eye so fascinating! This class is suitable for all ages and levels of biology background but children must be supervised by an adult. Read about our last session and see photos at this link, and register at this link!

flier-eyeball-webChildren and adults or pairs who wish to perform a dissection together need only register for one set of materials. For any questions about registration or course content please email    See you in the lab!

Bio-hacking the dinner plate? Join Wednesday Night Discussion Group 7-9pm Ada’s

How do you feel about Do-It-Yourself Biology experiments ending up on your plate? Join the discussion of DIYbio food and novel food production ideas this Wednesday November 5th, from 7-9PM at Ada’s Technical books on 425 15th Ave E.

As rising populations and environmental effects threaten global food security, DIYbio-hackers might have a solution in humble bacteria. Using “real vegan cheese” developed from E. coli as a “caseinpoint, a team from the San Francisco Bay Area presents an example of how DIYbio can supply novel solutions to problems in food security. The team, along with 245 others, competed this past weekend at the international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition, in Boston, MA, which asks undergraduates to develop existing or novel genetic constructs for a variety of applications, including food and nutrition.

Coursera study group in Systems Biology begins Nov 3

Get ready for an exciting journey into the field of Systems Biology through an eight week online course. Starting on November 3rd, HiveBio members will gather for weekly study group sessions to discuss main lecture points and homework assignments. Experimental Methods in Systems Biology, an online Coursera course, describes the theoretical background of mRNA sequencing, mass spectrometry-based proteomics, flow/mass cytometry, and live-cell imaging and demonstrates how these methods are used in a wet lab setting.

HiveBio members will meet 7-10pm Monday nights and for a small fee of $5 per session, you will have access to HiveBio’s conference room facilities while sharing course notes and discussing homework assignments with fellow students. Drinks and snacks will be provided. Study group organizers recommend bringing a laptop and working through homework assignments to be ready to discuss.

There is no commitment to attend each session – simply show up on Monday nights to participate! Don’t worry about “failing” the class – involvement and effort are completely up to you in this no-pressure atmosphere. So join HiveBio members this autumn and learn about the exciting and rapidly developing field of Systems Biology!

For those unfamiliar with Coursera, it is an education platform that runs online courses designed and taught by professors from top universities and organizations worldwide. All classes and class materials are completely free, but students must sign up on the Coursera website to participate and access online lectures, discussion boards and course materials.

A comprehensive description of the course and its educational requirements are on the Experimental Methods in Systems Biology class website. This class officially begins October 27th, at which point registered students will have weekly access to new course material and assignments.

Feel free to reach out to future classmates on HiveBio’s discussion forum. For other inquires contact

Scientific Illustration with Angela Mele

HiveBio is proud to offer a first of its kind class in Scientific Illustration. Angela Mele, a masters student at the University of Washington, will host HiveBio Community Lab’s first “art” class on Saturday October 11th at 10am.

forest fire

With Angela’s guidance, students will be able to observe and communicate details with scientific accuracy, and will learn how to use the right tools to achieve realistic effects and render an object in a lifelike way. Angela will provide all necessary materials, but encourages students to bring something to illustrate that has meaning to them. For example, a beautiful flower from the yard, an interesting bug found on a walk, or a family heirloom. Students will take home at least one graphite drawing, and are welcome to bring other mediums such as water colors or colored pencils.

Scientific Illustration is not only about representing visual aspects of a specimen, but also conveying a process or method, such as the release of spores from a slime mold, as Angela has illustrated in her book, entitled A Travel Companion to Cosmopolitan Slime Molds.

metatrichea floriformis

After taking this class the world will never look the same again. According to Angela, “Drawing is a really useful way to make discoveries about the natural world: how things are put together, surprising similarities and differences between living things.

For other illustrations, and to learn about Angela Mele’s work, and her community involvement at Mini Maker Faire this year, please visit her website,

To register for Scientific Illustration at HiveBio on October 11th, click on this link to register through BrownPaperTickets. We welcome students of all ages and levels of scientific background. Students under 18 must be accompanied by a parent.

Back to school with HiveBio’s Science Classes

It’s that time of year again! Time for class but science education is not just for kids! Learn about the basics of neurobiology and brain science in Intro to Neurobiology, Sunday September 28th. Co-founder Bergen McMurray and Dr. Lawrence Own will lead students through the anatomy and physiology of a sheep brain during a hands-on dissection!

Angela Mele, a Masters student at UW, will host HiveBio’s first Scientific Illustration workshop on Saturday October 11th. Learn both the technical and artistic sides of how to illustrate science accurately and beautifully. View samples of her work at

See our Upcoming Class Schedule to read course descriptions and learn about our past sessions. Registration is also available on our Class Registration page.