Where Science Meets Art!

HiveBio is happy to announce a new class series that begins this weekend: Where Science Meets Art! Each of the classes in this series will explore both a science concept and an art concept, and bring those concepts together in new and exciting ways!

Our first class in this series is an owl pellet dissection combined with a lesson in resin casting.

A pellet, in ornithology, is the mass of undigested parts of a bird’s food that some bird species occasionally regurgitate. The contents of a bird’s pellet depend on its diet, but can include the exoskeletons of insects, indigestible plant matter, bones, fur, feathers, bills, claws, and teeth.

In this workshop we will learn about the biology of owl pellets: how they’re formed, what they’re used for in ornithology. Each student will learn to carefully dissect an owl pellet to see whats inside. After the dissection, the class will move on to learn resin casting by casting the bones from within the owl pellets in clear resin.

Each student gets to keep their bony creation! Materials included in ticket price.

Purchase tickets at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2997886

HiveBio now has…Hives!

The day has finally come! Thanks to the awesomeness of our new Master Beekeeper Colette Taylor, and her Apprentice, Allie Kerr, HiveBio has an ongoing beekeeping community project that our members can join! The information about how to join that is upcoming. For the moment, we’ve got two new Biology of Bees classes scheduled. Please join us to learn about the wonderful world of bees!

Click the images below to register for the classes:


An Awesome and Unconventional Use for Science

Sometimes expecting parents decide to reveal the gender of their child to themselves in exciting ways – colored frosting inside of cupcakes or cakes. Bite into the sweet, and the color of the frosting lets you know the gender of your baby. At HiveBio Community Lab, we do it a little different. We do it with science!

We were approached by the awesome Andre and Lyndsey, who are due in June 2017. They wanted to find out the gender of their little one in the funnest possible way – an explosive chemical reaction! Using the Elephant Toothpaste experiment prepared by HiveBio’s Chief Science Officer, Scott Canaga, they would find out if their yet-to-be-born baby is a boy or girl!

After opening the sealed envelope from the family’s doctor, Scott prepared the colored solution in an obstructed flask. Andre and Lyndsey poured the final chemical in the solution and BOOM! The reaction ensues.

Do do your own Elephant Toothpaste reaction, see these instructions!

Collaboration Equals Innovation: Reflections on the White House Nation of Makers Meeting

Recently, HiveBio Community Lab was invited by Andrew Coy, White House Senior Policy Advisor on Making, to join almost 200 other Makerspaces from across the country at the White House for the Nation of Makers meeting. Though the time to prepare was short, HiveBio was able to run a successful GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds for the travel. As I boarded the plane to Washington D.C., I had butterflies in my stomach. While I was excited and honored that HiveBio was asked to join this amazing event, I have to say I didn’t know quite what to expect when I got there.

The actual time in DC was a whirlwind of activity. The Nation of Makers meeting fell on a Wednesday, so most of the Makerspace founders were only able to stay in DC for a short time. Fly in the day before, attend the NoM meeting, fly out the next day. Of course, it was a gathering of natural born organizers, so a NoM Facebook group was created immediately with a flurry of invitations: dinner the night before, dinner the day of, breakfast the day after. I arrived in DC late in the afternoon and rushed to attend the dinner that night, excited to meet my fellow Makerspace founders from all over the U.S.

Now, I’ll have to admit, part of me was wondering what would happen when we all got together. Makerspace founders are used to be being leaders. We have strong personalities, big ideas, and the drive to make them happen. Would a group of leaders compete with one another, or work comfortably as peers? This question was answered immediately upon arriving to the dinner. Everyone was excited, eager to meet one another, eager to start working together. I was overwhelmed by the intense sense of comradery in that space. During the dinner, 60 plus Makerspace founders shared stories and gave advice to one another. Many founders were handing out free swag, stickers and keychains and t-shirts. We laughed about how our bike helmets and computers would be completely covered in logos of fellow Makerspaces. Every single person there was eager to share tips and support one another. This is the heart of Makerspaces: inherently collaborative culture.

The Nation of Makers meeting extended this feeling of collaboration, not only between Makerspaces, but between us and the US government as well. Each presentation by White House officials (See our previous post on the NoM meeting for a list of some speakers) was centered on the idea of collaboration between Makerspaces and the White House. There was much talk of one of the main concepts of Maker culture: collaboration creates innovation. Working together, we can come up with insights and ideas that may never be discovered working alone, or while competing against one another.

This concept was best displayed at the afternoon breakout sessions. Each hour there were 4 sessions offered with topics such as Connecting with Nation Laboratories, Making the World a Better Place through Citizen Science and Open Innovation, Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems,and Equity by Design for Intentional Inclusion. Each session was made up of a group of Makerspace founders and government officials working together to discuss these topics, identify hurdles, and innovate possible solutions. Between the breakout sessions the White House walls were full of smiling Makers. This kind of collaborative innovation was exactly what we foster in our Makerspaces, and to see it happening at this scale, and at the White House, was amazing.

After the Nation of Makers meeting was over, we strove to keep this collaboration going. The majority of the Makerspace founders gathered at a local pub and spent the evening eating, drinking, and making plans for the future. Together, we discussed ways to formalize NoM communications so that we could all stay in touch. Plans for future regional conferences were made. People agreed to form committees to handle responsibilities for making certain things happen. I’ve never exchanged so many business cards in my life.

Since the Nation of Makers meeting, this collaboration and innovation has continued. The Facebook group is a constant hive of activity, Slack channels were created to carry this task or that task, regional email lists are buzzing with communication. Every day I wake up to notifications from fellow Makerspace founders from all over the country and am completely blown away by how seamlessly we are all working together to create this national movement and help it thrive. New Makerspaces are being added to the groups every day and we continue to communicate with Andrew Coy to help this movement grow.

While I was in DC I was able to spend some time with the founders of two California DIYbio Makerspaces, Eric Harness (BioCurious) and Patrick D’haeseleer (Counter Culture Labs). Their DIYbio Makerspaces are an amazing model for collaboration. Being located very close to one another, they share resources, have common members, and are even members of one another’s organizations. Working together, they are able to provide their local community an abundance of access to DIYbio.

After I got back from the White House, several people asked me what my biggest take-away was from the event. I can say without any doubt: collaboration is one of the most important gifts that the Maker movement has to offer. Here are hundreds of founders of similar organizations, many cities having more than one, and instead of competing we are working together. Corporate culture teaches people to “crush the competition” and espouses a culture of scarcity. Corporate culture encourages companies to use their resources to drive similar businesses out of a given area so that consumers can be dominated by one company. Maker culture teaches us the opposite. Maker culture encourages communities to grow and share and work together to create something greater than the sum of it’s parts. If we collaborate and innovate together, we can create a culture of abundance.

Visit Nation of Makers to learn more, and join the revolution!

A multitude of Makerspace Founders!

A multitude of Makerspace Founders!

Nation of Makers meeting media coverage:

Makerspace Organizers Convene at the White House (Make Magazine)

Building a Nation of Makers (The Huffington Post)

Organizing a Nation of Makers Is Hard But Worth It (Make Magazine)

Maker Organizers Meeting (Collab)

Familab Goes to the White House (Familab)

5 Key Lessons I Learned at the Makerspace Organizers Meeting (Annette Wong)

Reflections on White House Nation of Makers Event (NYC Resistor)

Bio Discussion Group at Ada’s Technical Books, 8/5/15

Join us at Ada’s Technical Books tomorrow August 5th, for our bimonthly Bio Discussion group! Discussion runs from 7:30pm – 9:00pm and is hosted by our Discussion Group Coordinator, Lisa Ma.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Title: Eternity Laboratories

This session includes a short introduction on the cultural history of “anti-aging” by Lisa Ma, followed by an open and discussion on the aspiration of anti-aging vs real-life environments of a longer-living society.
What are the real advancements in ‘anti-aging’?
How to save for an unstable future?
Will nursing homes become the new hipster central?

Announcing our newest program: HiveBIOhackathons!



Got a life sciences problem that can’t be solved? Perhaps your Global Health organization needs to figure out how to produce, test, and administer a much-needed vaccine in a developing country wherein the traditional resources of a hospital or lab are not available. HiveBio Community Lab is here to help!

For years Global Health organizations have needed to find innovate solutions to materials, diagnostic and technology problems in geographies with little to no resources. At the same time, DIYbio organizations and citizen scientists have been inventing low cost and accessible alternatives to traditional biology techniques. This low-cost, accessible innovation can be seen in inventions such as the Dremelfuge by Cathal Garver, the Smartphone Microscope by Yoshinok, and the Bubble Wrap Petri Dish by George Whitesides.

DIYbio organizations all over the world have been the gathering places for a huge interdisciplinary pool of biological scientists, programmers, electrical engineers, hackers, and artists for the better part of a decade. It’s time that the talent in these organizations is paired with the ongoing needs of global health and life sciences companies all over the world.

It is with this obvious partnership in mind that HiveBio Community Lab is happy to announce it’s newest program: HiveBIOHackathons!

Here’s how it works: Organizations will sign up for this program and include a description of the problem that needs to be solved and the resources available to solve the problem. HiveBio will then conduct a HiveBIOHackathon to find an innovative and low cost solution to the problem.

Why is this an excellent solution for life sciences companies? DIYbio organizations around the world have hundreds of members with a huge diversity of expertise. Through a HiveBIOHackathon the company will have access to the talent of these forwardthinking individuals in a way that simply isn’t possible in traditional life science consulting services. More eyes on the problem means more solutions, and more interdisciplinary collaboration means more quality results.

Why is this an excellent solution for the DIYbio community? Hackathons are fun, inspiring and bring together a great community of awesome people for a day of fun work that could help save lives. Don’t worry, as is the case with traditional hackathons, our BIOhackathons will provide food, t shirts, prizes, and much more. And the best part? HiveBIOHackathons will be open to the global community. Besides our in-person lab space, we will have the ability to have remote access to the BIOhackathons so that citizen scientists from all over the world can join.

Citizen Scientists:

Sign up for the HiveBio newsletter in order to receive alerts for upcoming HiveBIOhackathon opportunities. We’ll send out emails with information as opportunities for BIOhackathons arise.

Life Science Organizations:

Need a HiveBIOhackathon to find innovative solutions to a problem? Simply email hivebio@gmail.com for information and rates.

Lifetime learning at Chateau Retirement

Learning can happen anywhere, at any time. Recently HiveBio’s CEO, Bergen McMurray, and Creative Director, Miles Grover, packed up the sheep brains and took the science slideshow on the road. We joined the residents of Chateau Retirement Communities to teach Introduction to Neurobiology, one of the classes offered through our Busy Bees Bio program.

Twelve residents of the community learned about basic neurobiology through an interactive lecture and sheep brain dissection. The residents started by learning about neural cell types and the structure of neurons. They learned how neurons and glial cells interact and were surprised to find that the human brain has significantly more glial cells than neurons. From there they moved on to visualizing how action potentials move from neuron to neuron and discussed the role of neurotransmitters in this process.

After learning about some of the micro processes of the brain the residents zoomed out a bit to explore the structures of the brain through a hands-on sheep brain dissection. The residents donned lab coats and safety gear as they removed the dura mater and found the thalamus, pons, and corpus callosum, along with many other structures. The class ended with a bit of neuroscience history as the students performed the equivalent of a frontal lobotomy and talked about the ramifications of such a surgery.

HiveBio was delighted to be able to work with the enthusiastic residents of the Chateau Retirement Community. Thanks to all of the students for being part of the lifetime learning community at HiveBio!

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NSF Funding Announcement: BusyBeesBio

We are happy to announce that HiveBio has received a grant from the National Science Foundation! HiveBio’s BusyBeesBio, a student outreach program, is funded as part of a grant awarded to Dr. Herbert Sauro, who is in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington. Our Busy Bees Bio program offers classes to local schools and other organizations.These classes can be scheduled as field trips during school hours, or on evenings and weekends. To find out more about our BusyBeesBio program, please see the link on our website.
The HiveBio team would like to thank Dr. Herbert Sauro and the National Science Foundation for their support!

Open House and Yard Sale

Summer cleaning time has come! Thanks to the kindly donations of others, HiveBio has more than it can use. To help clear out some space, we’re hosting a science yard sale. Ever have that moment when you look around your home a exclaim “Gee, I wish I had some 96 well plates handy?” Well, this is the event for you. We’ll be paring down what we have in our storage space, which includes a lot of 96 well plates, an assortment of flasks and beakers, some random glassware, a million freezer boxes, plus a lot more! We’ll likely have mostly small lab equipment, no big machines for sale.

So come down, have a snack and some soda, hang with the HiveBio crew and see if we have anything you might like to take home with you! While you’re here, take a tour of our lab and talk to us about classes or projects. We’ll be hosting an open house during the yard sale, so if you’ve been waiting for the right time to come check out our facility, this is it!


HiveBio Halloween Fundraiser!

Please join us October 31st, 2013 for food, games and celebration! We’ll have a few spooky surprises up our sleeves. We’ll have a costume contest, mummy wrap, games and more! This is a family friendly event, so feel free to bring the kids around for some tricks and treats!

7pm-10pm, suggested $5 donation.