Events

Build a Biosensor with Synthetic Biology

Build a Biosensor with Synthetic Biology

Saturday, December 7, 2019
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

A 12-hour class in 3 sessions: December 7th, 14th & 21st- 2-6PM Biosensors are living organisms programmed to detect an input and generate a measurable output. In this hands-on lab class you will use synthetic biology techniques to  design and build a simple DNA biosensor device and load it into a cell to test. Students will have a choice of several combinations of inputs and outputs. We will also explore the principles of synthetic biology (DNA 'biobricks', databases and SBOL symbols) and its enormous  potential to disrupt multiple industries. Is hacking DNA as easy as using Lego bricks? Join us for this one-of-a-kind class and find out! No previous experience necessary but participation in our lab skills series of workshops is recommended. Minimum age is 13, and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent. Instructor Dr. Ellen Jorgensen is Chief Science Officer at the biotech startup Carverr and is . . . More details

Lab Skills: Cutting and Measuring DNA

Lab Skills: Cutting and Measuring DNA

Thursday, December 5, 2019
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

About lab skills workshops: In this ongoing series of 1-2 day courses at Biotech without Borders, we’re inviting people of all skill levels together to complete a small teaching exercise in order to learn about laboratory work. We will cover the proper use of equipment and the real world application of the techniques being practiced. Prepare & Analyze a DNA molecular weight ladder How does a scientist know the length of a fragment of DNA? A routine approach is by comparing the fragment to other fragments of known sizes using a technique called gel electrophoresis. In this workshop, you will prepare your own DNA “ruler” by cutting a circular piece of DNA with enzymes called restriction endonucleases that act as tiny molecular scissors. The discovery of these enzymes in the 1970s was key to establishing the field of genetic engineering. Visualizing the resulting fragments of DNA on a gel is . . . More details

Fungi Are The Future: How Mushrooms Will Save Our World

Fungi Are The Future: How Mushrooms Will Save Our World

Wednesday, December 4, 2019
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Lecture & Workshop by Craig Trester, founder of MYC: Fungi are the keystone species that interconnect every facet of life in our world. This class will highlight the supreme influence these ancient and often overlooked organisms have upon our health, society, environment and also provide a succinct peek into the Fungal Queendom from the perspectives of ecology, anthropology, pharmacology, and bioremediation. The class will also feature a brief workshop component that teaches attendees how to perform low tech and low cost mushroom cultivation techniques that can be replicated at home with upcycled materials. About the Instructor: Craig M. Trester is a citizen scientist that applies biomimicry and permaculture principles through mycology to develop regenerative solutions. By studying Fungi, he believes novel approaches towards alternative agriculture, pharmacology, and bioremediation can be realized. Craig runs MYC, an applied mycology educational resource that teaches the benefits Fungi provide to our health, environment, and . . . More details

PCR + Pizza

PCR + Pizza

Monday, December 2, 2019
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Come on down to BwB's regular Open Night! Pizza, beer, and Lab work. Extract DNA from yourself and amplify it using PCR to test yourself for a CCR5 mutation, or just relax and have some great conversations around democratizing science. No charge, but donations for the pizza and beer greatly appreciated! More details

Deep Dive: The science journal club for everyone

Deep Dive: The science journal club for everyone

Thursday, November 14, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

This is an ongoing series of journal club meetings in public places. This week we take a deep dive into what determines human lifespan. To continue our theme of the science of aging, we will tackle the following two articles:The Hallmarks of Aginghttps://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674%2813%2900645-4Aging Converts Innate B1a Cells into Potent CD8+ T Cell Inducershttps://www.jimmunol.org/content/196/8/3385You can bring snacks to share, but it's not a requirement. Sharing your mind is the tastiest. More details

Intro Python Programming for Citizen Scientists

Intro Python Programming for Citizen Scientists

Saturday, November 9, 2019
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

This workshop will provide an introduction to programming in Python, an accessible and popular programming language used for data analysis.  No prior programming experience is necessary, but please read the pre-workshop instructions below. Workshop Instructed By Alex Kramer: Modern science and quantitative research often rely on the complex analysis of large amounts of data that vastly exceeds the possibility of manual computation (or even comprehension) by humans, even with the help of basic computer tools such as spreadsheets and calculators. For such intensive computation, powerful computer systems, tools, and applications have been built that require at least basic computer programming skills to leverage. This course aims to provide an introduction to programming in Python, the most accessible and one of the most popular general-purpose programming languages used for data analysis. By the end of the course, attendees will have a basic understanding of procedural programming and should be able to create . . . More details

How the Manifestations of Medical Diagnoses Have Shaped the Art World

How the Manifestations of Medical Diagnoses Have Shaped the Art World

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Disease changes lives…and art. For centuries, art and music have reflected not only contemporary cultural and political themes but also the lives of the artists themselves.  For example, medical diagnoses have shaped the way artists perceive and interact with the world, and are expressed in their art.  This talk explores how a pituitary tumor, REM sleep disturbances, prosopagnosia and syphilis have ultimately had profound impacts on art and music, while explaining the science behind these diagnoses along the way.   Speaker Bio: Dr Megan McGill, MD, PhD recently joined REGENXBIO, a gene therapy company.  She most recently worked for McKinsey & Co. in the firm’s healthcare practice.  Prior to McKinsey, she was a resident physician in the Radiology Department at New York University Langone Medical Center.  Megan received a BA, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania in neuroscience, chemistry and music.  She completed her MD and PhD degrees at . . . More details

Lab Skills: Cutting and Measuring DNA

Lab Skills: Cutting and Measuring DNA

Saturday, October 26, 2019
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

About lab skills workshops: In this ongoing series of 1-2 day courses at Biotech without Borders, we’re inviting people of all skill levels together to complete a small teaching exercise in order to learn about laboratory work. We will cover the proper use of equipment and the real world application of the techniques being practiced. Prepare & Analyze a DNA molecular weight ladder How does a scientist know the length of a fragment of DNA? A routine approach is by comparing the fragment to other fragments of known sizes using a technique called gel electrophoresis. In this workshop, you will prepare your own DNA “ruler” by cutting a circular piece of DNA with enzymes called restriction endonucleases that act as tiny molecular scissors. The discovery of these enzymes in the 1970s was key to establishing the field of genetic engineering. Visualizing the resulting fragments of DNA on a gel is . . . More details

Using 3D “Mini-Brains” to Unlock the Origins of Mental Disorders

Using 3D “Mini-Brains” to Unlock the Origins of Mental Disorders

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Mental illnesses are common disorders of the brain – 50% of us are likely to experience them  in our lifetimes, and 20% of the worldwide population is likely to be experiencing mental health issues at any given moment. Despite the fact that mental health disorders appear to be rising, big pharma has severely divested away from drug discovery for mental disorders – meaning new drugs are not on the horizon as they used to be. This is for numerous reasons, but a root problem has been that science hasn’t definitively pinpointed the causes for any mental disorder yet. Thus, if we don’t understand the brain origins of mental disorders, we may never see the development of safe and efficacious treatments that lack the side effects of  existing drugs. This talks advocates for a new way forward: because we can’t ethically study brain mechanisms of mental disorders in humans, can we . . . More details

Deep Dive: The science journal club for everyone

Deep Dive: The science journal club for everyone

Thursday, October 10, 2019
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Join us for this off-site event! This is the first in an ongoing series of journal club meetings in public places. This week we take a deep dive into what determines human lifespan. Journal article link: https://www.g3journal.org/content/9/9/2863Format: We'll briefly overview the article, then open it up for discussion. We hope for engagement from everyone! The discussion leader will bring up points of interest after that as needed. This is a journal club for everyone, so theformat includes elements designed for maximum participation. Please NOTE, this event takes place in the second floor seating area of Whole Foods, NOT at BwoB! More details

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