Know thyself: Experimenting with your microbiome

The little guys inside your gut get a lot of press these days; from academic articles to popular science pages, everyone’s talking about the human microbiome (even the government has jumped on board). But beyond the ivory tower or hallowed halls of the NIH, understanding your own flora has very personal implications. After all, with millions of bacteria lining every inch of every surface in your body, to know them is to know thyself.richardspraguespeaking
Richard Sprague, software exec and bio-hacker known for his self-experiments, is taking this self awareness one-step further: into the world of DIY bio. Using 16s sequencing, Sprague has done a series of experiments on his own microbiome, including a recent attempt to restart his gut microbiome. His article How to Analyze Your Own Microbiome appeared in the July 2015 issue of O’Reilly’s BioCoder magazine. Join us as he discusses his latest microbiome experiments, and what he learned from comparing his test results with others.
HiveBio Discussion Series takes place at Ada’s Technical Books (425 15 Ave E on the Hill) at 7:30 PM Wed. March 16th.

Check out our new classes!

 HiveBio has some new courses for you to check out!

We’ve lined up three cool new courses for you, one each month, detailed below. For more about these and other courses, check out our class registration page or see all of our upcoming events by searching ‘HiveBio’ at Brown Paper Tickets.



Join us for another round of one of our most popular courses! Led by Dr. Reitha Weeks, you’ll explore how lotions are made – and how the government regulates what goes into them. You’ll even be able to make and take home your own lotion!

Register for the course by clicking here.


Are you ready for the Zombie Apocalypse to hit Seattle? In this fun course, HiveBio’s Regina Wu will teach you how to find the amongst us using ELISA immunoassay techniques. See how long you’ll make it before you turn!

Register for this course by clicking here


Come explore the sense of smell  from the biology that makes it possible to the chemistry behind fragrances and essential oils.  Led by Reitha Weeks, PhD, we’ll investigate product labels and aromatherapy claims, test your ability to identify smells, and extract essential oils for you to take home.

Register for this course by clicking here!


If you like these courses, be sure to check out our other upcoming classes by visiting our class registration page!

Mosquitoes in the spotlight: Ethics, science, and the Zika virus

Zika has been making some big headlines in the last year. With 1.6 million new cases since April 2015, this mosquito-borne virus has grown well beyond its initial outbreak in Brazil, right up to our doorstep. Can we fight the spread of Zika virus with genetically engineered mosquitoes? And even if we can, should we?mozzies_spelledright_details

Join us for our bimonthly discussion group at Ada’s Technical Books (425 15th Ave E on the Hill) at 7:30 PM this Wednesday, Feb 17th as we talk about Mosquitoes in the spotlight: Ethics, science, and the Zika Virus.


Facilitated by HiveBio member Max Showalter, the discussion group is the perfect place to learn more about HiveBio Community Lab, discuss a project that you have in mind, talk about an interesting development in bioscience, and meet like-minded citizen scientists. See you there!

For questions please call 6515870548, or let us know you’re going here.

Biomining – microbes in the deep earth

Mineral extraction can be expensive and technologically difficult in extreme or even moderate environments. Are better machines the answer, ore can we iron out these problems using bacteria? Biomining, using microbes to sequester and accumulate minerals out of natural materials as a means of acquiring them, is a technique already in use in some progressive mines, and one of great interest to the community. Unsurprisingly, synthetic biology has the potential play an exciting role in improving efficiency and capability of these little biominers.

Join us to discuss bacteria as the future of biomining at Ada’s technical books (425 15th Ave E) this Wednesday, Jan 20th at 7:30 PM

Fragrances and essential oils – two spots left!

We have two spots left for one of our favorite classes – Memories, molecules and medicines: An exploration of fragrances and essential oils – which is happening January 16th from 2-5PM.

A freshly mown lawn, a crackling bonfire’s smoke, or piping hot chicken soup on a cold day. All these and other smells conjure warm memories, emotions, primal fears and human relationships, far beyond the basic sense of smell. With a nose that can distinguish one trillion different scents, we carry one of the world’s best molecular detectors. But how much do we really know about smell and its effect on our lives? How does fragrance drive our moods? How do we perceive it and describe it to others? Come explore the sense of smell from the biology that makes it possible to the chemistry behind fragrances and essential oils. Led by Reitha Weeks, PhD, we’ll investigate product labels and aromatherapy claims, test your ability to identify smells, and extract essential oils for you to take home. So let’s dive into the world of smells you’ll be surprised how much there is to learn.

Maximum class size: 9
$25 per participant.
Pre-registration is required for this workshop. This class is not suitable for chemical or fragrance sensitive individuals. The subject matter for this class is above an elementary level, this class is not suitable for children under 7th grade.

Claim your spot before its gone!

Click here to register for this course!

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You gotta know when to fold ‘em

What do Kant and ribosomes have in common? They’re both all about form, and while most people ascribe formalism solely to artistic endeavors, Kant unknowingly touched on an important biological theme with his impression that form gives gestalt. From proteins to DNA, chemicals to lipids, the shape and structure of biomaterials drive their utility. In a class led by Dr. Sandra Porter, we’ll envision exactly how and why these structures matter – how DNA is put together by its properties, how mutant proteins cause albino cats, how protein folding dictates functionality – by use of her 3D visualization program Molecule World.  After this class, you’ll be able to share your new-found love of biological formalism with a printed structural image of your favorite molecule on a T-shirt! So come structure your mind to expand your horizons into the world of molecular form. This class will take place at HiveBio on February 20thfrom 2-5PM.


(HiveBio will provide T-shirts, but you may also bring your own black cotton T-shirt if you’d like. Use of personal iPads is strongly encouraged for this course, if available. If you’re bringing an iPad, download the app Molecule World from the iTunes store before the workshop for $5.99).


Molecular World

A Field Guide to Microbiology: Recognizing Bacteria In Your Environment

Ever get that creeping feeling that you’re never alone, but instead surrounded by trillions of your closest microbial friends? If so, your intuition is right! Microbes are all around us, and even on and in us. But you don’t have to be a microbiologist to appreciate their diversity and ubiquity – many cultures can be identified using macro-scale features. This week, HiveBio will teach you how to identify key players in your microbial daily life – from what is in your beer on Friday afternoon, to what’s making you stink after a soccer game, to the weird green slime on the pier in Elliot Bay. So join us to get acquainted with the smallest members of our community: bacteria!  Join us for our discussion at Ada’s Technical Books (425 15th Ave on the Hill) at 7:30, Wed 6. Jan.

Class reschedule: Neurophysiology training course Mar. 12th 2016

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.

This class is now being offered on Mar 12, 2016.

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

NeuroPhysiology Workshop2