HiveBio Discussion: What’s politics got to do with it?

Looking for a distraction from the 3rd presidential debate? Can’t wait to escape this never-ending election? HiveBio is going after the third rail in our monthly discussion series by bringing up politics and asking one important question- how does policy influence the maker movement?

Join us at Ada’s Technical Books this Wednesday, Oct 19th at 730 PM for an important discussion of how White House and governmental policy helps shape the state of DIYbio in the United States. We’ll cover the current Nation of Makers initiative and brainstorm how we might be able to improve the regulation and encouragement of garage biology.





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.

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).

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.

Come see us at the Seattle Makerfaire!

Hey Seattle!

Don’t you wish you could get more DIY in your life? Don’t you lie awake at night, hoping to see HiveBio offer family-friendly citizen biology in the context of an exciting, fair-like atmosphere?

You’re in luck!

HiveBio will be hosting a booth at the upcoming Seattle Makerfaire, this Saturday and Sunday (Sept 19-20th), from 10 AM to 5 PM at the EMP Museum in Seattle Center. Among our activities will be our popular Strawberry DNA Extraction – a fun, hands on way for kids to see the very stuff that makes up life- and a presentation by HiveBio’s CEO and Co-found Bergen McMurray! To learn more about how to attend, visit the Seattle Makerfaire website.

In addition, our discussion group this Wednesday, Sept 16th at 7PM will be discussing DIY Bio and Maker Culture History, including an overview of all the exciting events that at the upcoming Fair.

So bring your curious minds to  join us at our Wednesday Discussion Group (Ada’s Technical Books 425 15th Ave E. in Capitol Hill), and then come get your hands wet at the Seattle Makerfaire this weekend!


Jurassic Park: distant fantasy, or upcoming reality?

Updated: This topic is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20th.

Could mankind one day revive a population of dinosaurs, using only some found DNA? This idea of bringing back the dinosaurs may be far from our current scientific capabilities, but the concept of de-extinction is wholly  scientifically feasible. In fact, we’ve already taken steps to accomplish it.

This Wednesday, HiveBio is talking about de-extinction: the methods of accomplishment, the potential ecological impacts, and the ethics of its use. Be part of the discussion: join us at Ada’s Technical Books this  Wednesday, May 20th at 7:30 PM.

Upcoming class: Brain dissection

Dive into the mystery of the human mind with HiveBio’s upcoming Brain Dissection class, which will be held on Saturday, May 23rd, 2-5PM.

This class, led by HiveBio’s cofounder, Bergen McMurray, and Lawrence Own, PhD, explores the macrostructures of gray matter through a dissection of sheep’s brains, as well as a discussion of neurobiology basics.

To register for this class, and learn more details, visit this link.

Children under 18 years are welcome, but must be accompanied by a parent.


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

Going beyond the basics of ocean acidification

Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, sea surface water has dropped by an average of about 0.1pH unit (NOAA PMEL). How much change can this 0.1pH unit cause? From collapsing coral reefs to damaged diatoms, and even in the oyster industry here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re beginning to find out that this seemingly small change correlates to wide-scale disruption of the marine ecosystem and dependent industries. Come discuss the cause and impact of ocean acidification at Ada’s Technical Books (425 15th Ave. E) this Wednesday, Feb. 4th at 7:30 PM.

For a primer on ocean acidification, and the source of the data cited above, visit the website of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.