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!

The Mystery of the Motor: Origin, Evolution, and Ecology of Bacterial Swimming

Swimming is a widespread strategy of many bacteria of vastly different lineages, and flagellar motility (swimming by means of a whip-like appendage) produces impressive results. Motile bacteria have distinct advantages over others in their environment – including antibiotic resistance, strategies against predation and viral lysis, and ability to respond to gradients. This comes at a metabolic cost, however, and is the reason behind a highly complex and step-dependent genetic assembly pathway. More intriguing – many bacteria have nearly identical and highly complex motors. How did such a complex machine come to be located in an otherwise simple organism? What secrets of evolution, ecology, and the origins of life can bacterial motility unlock?

Join us in a discussion of bacterial motility, with a focus on marine systems, led by UW graduate student Max Showalter as we talk about the mystery of the motor. Meet us at Ada’s Technical Books (425 15th Ave. E), this Wednesday, Dec 2nd at 7:30 PM.

New class – earn credits in neurophysiology

** NOTE: This class is in the process of being rescheduled for a later date, and will not take place on Dec. 13th, 2015 as originally posted. 
Calling all aspiring neurophysiologists  – HiveBio is offering a unique, brand new workshop with opportunities to earn credit from the American Council on Education (ACE). This all-day workshop is targeted to intraoperative monitoring professionals as full participants for 6.25 hours of approved ACE credits in neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring. Through lectures, brain dissections, and hands-on techniques in brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs), attendees will learn the essence of advanced surgical procedures and neurophysiology. Full participants working towards accreditation will receive a tuning fork for clinical examination, sheep brain for dissection, and tubing for BAEP testing. Additional attendees may observe the workshop. All participants will be provided with a small breakfast and lunch, included in the workshop fee.

Come join HiveBio and otolaryngologist, Daniel M Zeitler, MD, (Virginia Mason Hospital) and Kenneth A Klettke, CNIM, Specialty Care as they develop your understanding of auditory systems, neurophysiology, and surgical techniques.

Full participants limited to 8, public observers limited to 4.

Stemcell Vampires – HiveBio Discussion group


Blood is a morbid fascination of the human mind – a subject of interest from ancient lore of vampires to modern horror movies. But how does biotech reimagine this creepy theme?
Just in time for Halloween, HiveBio discussion group will explore the potential exploitation of human blood – a hypothetical world where vampiric scientists sell the blood of the young to keep the old from withering. We’ll talk about hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs – those that develop into all other blood cells), telomeres, and how science fits into the horror story. So come get spooked with us this Wednesday, Oct 21st at 730 PM as we discuss Stemcell Vampires at Ada’s Technical Books (425 15th Ave E on the Hill).

Check out our new fall classes!

Looking for some science to do as the weather turns cool and gray?

We’ve posted three new classes for November and December to keep your brain engaged as the weather turns sleepy. Dive into the unseen world of microscopy on November 7th, with Smart Phone microscopyor get inside your head by getting inside a brain in our Intro to Neurobiology: Sheep Brain Dissection on November 14th. If you’re looking for an early Christmas Gift, our Elephant Toothpaste class on December 12th will bring out your fun-side as you learn some hands-on chemistry!

So get excited about the changing seasons, because it means more chances to do some science with HiveBio! We can’t wait to see you.

Learn more about these classes and how to register for them here.

Modern Witch Doctors: at the intersection of old and new

On the stark, sterile counters of a modern biotech laboratory, the jungle heartbeat of freshly excised tawari negro tree offers a potential cure for cancer, a gift of the world’s pharmacy: the Amazon Jungle. Its use is the product of a centuries-old friendship between native peoples and the environment.

As in pharmaceutical development, a variety of fields in modern science increasingly take their cues from traditional knowledge, transforming themselves into a synthesis of old and new on the quest to solve man’s greatest problems. Health and healing, a universal human concern throughout space and time, has perhaps the greatest and most diverse pool of knowledge to draw from. But it is a quickly draining pool: as habitat destruction and Westernization invades the untouched corners of Earth, traditional knowledge slips away – and with it potentially live-saving cures.

On October 7th, Lisa Ma brings the latest research of diverse medical management systems from around the world, where strong beliefs in witch doctors, herbalists, and body healing is finding a space in the world of biotech. Join us at Ada’s Technical Books (425 15th Ave. E)  Wednesday, Oct 7th at 7:30 PM to discuss to the contribution of traditional knowledge in Western medicine.

You’d breader get ready for this Earth Day event!

This Earth Day, we’re celebrating one thing that makes Earth truly unique in our known universe (so far): the presence of metabolically active microbes! To do so, HiveBio and Ada’s offer you a brand new collaborative discussion session on the art of fermentation, including a recipe swap and instruction (with samples!) about baking sourdough bread.

So if you’re just loafing around in knead of plans this Earth Day, don’t wheat any longer! Roll your buns on down to Ada’s Technical Books (425 15th Ave E) on Wed, Apr 22nd at 7:30PM as we brioche the topic of how microbial life drives fermentative processes, which give the tangy flavor to sourdough bread. The discussion won’t cost you any dough (it’s free!), and is guaranteed to rise above your expectations!

Upcoming Workshop: DIY-SpikerBox for Neurobiology

What does a thought sound like, or a step, or the feeling of happiness? It might seem like science fiction, but at the upcoming HiveBio Hands-on Workshop, we can show you how to actually see  and hear the electrical impulses that drive all of our emotions and movements. Using a open-source bioamplifier developed by Backyard Brains known as SpikerBox, you will get to both see and hear the action potentials of living neurons while learning about neurobiology from Dr. Steve Potter, an associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Potter, who has immersed himself in the maker community, conducts research in neuroengineering, as well as speculates on the future of the field in his blog “NeuroEngineering in the Future.” His research interests encompass artificial intelligence, robotics, the study of consciousness, and self-organising dynamical systems. Check out his definition of neuroengineering and its fundamentally transformative impacts on society in his recent talk given at TedX Georgia Tech.

This workshop will be held April 26th from 1-4PM.

Register today by clicking here!



Fighting the resistance: Antibiotics in the modern world

Antimicrobial agents are the workhorse of modern medicine; diseases and infections once considered a death sentence are now routinely mitigated by antibacterial drugs and treatments on a daily basis. However, as their continued uses forces evolutionary pressure onto the targeted microbes, antibacterial agents are creating drug-resist pathogens at an estimated cost of 700,000 lives annually, and growing economic cost projected to total over $100 trillion by 2050 (O’Neill, et al., 2014).

How will biotechnology address this rising tide of antibiotic resistant bacteria and what new treatments and philosophies will we develop in our war against the microbes? Come discuss the current state and future of antibiotic resistance with HiveBio this Wednesday, April 15th at 7:30 PM in Ada’s Technical Books (425 15th Ave E).


Isn’t it about time you got your hands wet?

Itching for an opportunity to do some real, citizen science? HiveBio wants to give you that chance!

Join us at 7PM every other Wednesday (alternate to our discussion group and starting Wednesday, February 11th) at the HiveBio lab space to get involved in the Citizen Salmon and the Ministat projects. These meetings will be facilitated by Yasaman Sheri, Michal Galdzicki, and Katherine Baker.

To be added to the Google group for these projects, email