A focus on local: salmon, HiveBio, and world-champion undergraduates

Did you know that a team of world-champion synthetic biologists is in your backyard? First place winners of the 2011 World Jamboree, the undergraduates who comprise the University of Washington team for the international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition continue to produce award-winning projects that further the fundamentals of genetic engineering. Now, the UW iGEM team and HiveBio look to their common goal of advancing DIY-bio through exciting possibilities of collaboration, such as the Citizen Salmon Project. A volunteer-based effort through HiveBio, the Citizen Salmon Project aims to create and manage a database cataloging origins of commercially available salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

Stop by Ada’s Technical Books (425 15th Avenue East) on Wednesday at 7:30 PM to learn more about how you can be part of this project and discuss the exciting partnership between the HiveBio community and the UW iGEM team.

Can’t make the meeting? See opportunities for participating in DIY-bio projects on our website: http://hivebio.org/volunteer-opportunities/


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.

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 HiveBio@gmail.com.

HiveBio Community Lab Open Lab Hours & Events

Tonight we are celebrating the Grand Opening of HiveBio’s laboratory space. What does that mean for current and prospective members?

Our lab will be open for general use on weekends and most week nights. You can purchase a monthly membership, or pay the drop-in fee to use the facilities. All projects must be approved by the Science Safety and Ethics Committee. Please submit a project proposal form so we can provide feedback as soon as possible. A waiver must be signed to utilize the lab facilities, and safety protocols must be strictly followed.

Invite your friends to stop by during our Open Lab hours to have a tour of the lab and find out about our educational programs and resources.

Our Tuesday Night Discussion Group that normally would meet every two weeks at Kaladi Brothers Coffee will now be held in one of the meeting rooms at HiveBio, Building G of the Talaris Center. Our first meeting will be this coming Tuesday night at 7pm. Discussion groups are open to the public and a waiver is not required to participate.

This Weekend’s Open Lab Hours

Saturday October 19:             12pm – 8pm

Sunday October 20:               11am – 3pm

Upcoming Classes and Events

Monday Night Book Club:                  October 21, 7:30pm – 9pm

Tuesday Night Discussion Group:      October 22, 7pm – 9pm

Intro To Biotech (Class):                     October 26, 1pm – 4pm

HiveBio Lab Grand Opening

I’m happy to announce the Grand Opening of the HiveBio Community Laboratory! After much consideration we have decided upon a home for HiveBio. We are located at the Talaris Center just east of the University district with access to bus lines and ample free parking. Our lab is located in the west side of Building G on the south end of campus. We have around 800 square feet, including our research benches, offices and lab supplies. We are surrounded by koi ponds, willow trees, and a sense of serenity, the perfect location to foster creativity and teamwork!

Our address is listed below. Please feel free to share the flyer on social media. We welcome everyone to our Grand Opening regardless of scientific background. Find out what we are all about. The only thing you need to bring is your curiosity!


Join us this Friday, Sept. 20th!

Hello all! I want to invite everyone to a special meetup this Friday, Sept. 20th at Kaladi’s Coffee in Capitol Hill. The meeting will be basically structured like our regular Tuesday meetups but we have the special addition of Ben Welmond and Mary Tsang of DIYsect. Ben and Mary will be filming for their exciting documentary about DIYbio. Come, meet Ben and Mary and enjoy some lively discussion about DIYbio with your fellow PNW citizen scientists! The schedule is as follows:

7:00pm – 7:30pm: Informal meet and greet
7:30pm – 8:00pm: Q and A with Ben, Mary, Bergen and Katriona
8:00pm – 9:00pm: Open discussion of DIYbio and potential projects
The more the merrier, so bring friends and coworkers! See you all there!