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

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!


All good dinos come in twos: bioinformatics discussion and class

Bio Discussion Group – How to Build a Dinosaur
August 26th, 7:30pm – 9pm

Presented by Blake Allen, Bioinformatics expert
Location: Ada’s Technical Books, 425 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112
Free Discussion Group

The “How to Create a Dinosaur” Class will be a free intro to bioinformatics module wherein students will learn why the science of Jurassic Park is a myth and how one could create a dinosaur using bioinformatics, genetics and various existing biological techniques. In this discussion group we will explore the genomic science behind how a dinosaur could be genetically engineered.

In this discussion we will explore why one would want to create a dinosaur, what dinosaurs could be created,  and existing biological techniques. In addition,  we’ll discuss ethical implications of creating dinosaurs: Are dinosaurs are sentient, what are the moral implications bringing back extinct creatures?

Check out the Meetup here!

This free informational session at Ada’s is also a precursor to our dinosaur workshop on September 5th, wherein you’ll have the opportunity to get signed up for the class where we will actually “design a dinosaur” using bioinformatics, programming and 3d modeling.

Learn more about this class at our class registration page, or  sign up here!



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.

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!

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.