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.





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

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).

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!

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).


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

New HiveBio Discussion Group Meetings

Join us for our bimonthly discussion group at Roy Street Coffee in Capitol Hill. Facilitated by HiveBio member Valerie Sexton, 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.

Our first group meeting will be Tuesday July 15 from 7-9pm. See you there!

For questions please call 206.271.1475