Events

Bioinformatics: Environmental Metagenomics

Bioinformatics: Environmental Metagenomics

Sunday, April 28, 2019
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Bioinformatics for environmental metagenomics: We are increasingly aware of the invisible and ubiquitous microbial component of our lives – in and on our bodies, in our environment. But, how do you actually measure that? What if you wanted to find out what bacteria are living around you? In this workshop we will learn the methods for identifying microbial species with DNA sequencing data, and understand what their functions are and how that can inform decisions or urban design.  We will use the Pathomap dataset and each participant will obtain the metagenomic sequences of their favorite subway station. We will explain the file formats used for sequencing data and how to manipulate them, and gain hands-on experience on using the computational tools to identify bacterial species and their genes with that data, and visualize the results. ____ About the instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Hénaff is a computational biologist and designer. Her academic trajectory . . . More details

Lab Skills: Cutting and Measuring DNA

Lab Skills: Cutting and Measuring DNA

Friday, April 26, 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

BwoB Talk: Human Bacterial Relationships In Health and Disease

BwoB Talk: Human Bacterial Relationships In Health and Disease

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Human Bacterial Relationships In Health and Disease A talk by Danny Chan In the 1800's scientists began to provide evidence supporting the idea that microscopic organisms could cause disease. Since then, we have described a great diversity of interactions between humans and the microscopic life that lives on and in our bodies. One type of microbe, the bacteria, are now commonly known to participate not only in disease processes but also in healthy functioning. Join us for a disucssion through various examples of how bacterial genes can help or harm our bodies and how our own genes participate in these processes. ______ Bio Instructor Danny Chan received his MSc in microbiology during the course of his PhD candidacy at the University of Chicago studying the interaction of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) with lab-grown skin in an a department focused on infectious disease. He has been a research technician for many years . . . More details

PCR + Pizza

PCR + Pizza

Wednesday, April 17, 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

Bring your own sample: Identify fungi using DNA barcoding

Bring your own sample: Identify fungi using DNA barcoding

Sunday, April 14, 2019
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

For this hands-on workshop, you are invited to bring your own mystery fungus to identify (but you can use one of our fungal samples if you want). We will be using DNA barcoding to identify the unknown organism, no previous lab experience required. Participants will be coached by instructors through the laboratory techniques required to extract DNA from their sample and perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR). At the end of this session, participants will know some of the theory and practical aspects of DNA barcoding and working with fungi. The results of the barcode identification will be emailed to participants about a week later. DNA barcoding is the process by which organisms are identified by comparing short sequences in their genome to similar specimens that have been previously sequenced. When paired with classical morphological observations, barcoding offers an improved understanding of evolutionary lineage and the potential to discover previously unknown . . . More details

Lab Skills: Learn Spectrophotometry

Lab Skills: Learn Spectrophotometry

Saturday, March 30, 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. Learn Spectrophotometry: Measure the Concentration of a Molecule How does a scientist know the concentration of molecule in solution? One of the methods commonly used in the molecular biology laboratory is spectrophotometry. This technique passes light through a sample and measures how much is absorbed to calculate the concentration. In this workshop, you will prepare your own standard curve in cuvettes to calibrate a spectrophotometer. Then you will measure the concentration of an unknown sample. Spectrophotometry is a workhorse laboratory technique and the basis of innumerable biological and chemical assays. Participants will get hands-on experience using . . . More details

Lab Skills: Cutting and Measuring DNA

Lab Skills: Cutting and Measuring DNA

Friday, March 22, 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. Measuring DNA: Preparing & Analyzing a DNA 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 a . . . More details

Grow Your Own: Green Yeast for St. Patrick's Day

Grow Your Own: Green Yeast for St. Patrick’s Day

Sunday, March 17, 2019
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

How do genetic engineers work with yeast? Come to this fun St. Patrick's Day workshop and find out! You will learn how Saccharomyces cerevisiae (brewer's yeast) became an important laboratory model for higher cells (eucaryotes) and how it is being used today as a workhorse microbe to produce everything from drugs to perfume. We'll cover all the information you need to grow this organism and keep it happy in the lab. And of course, we'll load a genetic program producing a glowing green protein (GFP) into some laboratory yeast in honor of the holiday. About the Grow Your Own series of workshops Biotech Without Borders is excited to present this new series of workshops designed to get you started in the care and feeding of various classical laboratory organisms, including bacteria, yeast, plants and human cells. Each module is independent, and will earn you a new stamp in your Biotechniques Passport. More details

PCR + Pizza

PCR + Pizza

Monday, March 11, 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

Lab Skills Workshops: Learn Spectrophotometry

Lab Skills Workshops: Learn Spectrophotometry

Friday, February 22, 2019
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Pipetting, Standard Curves and Spectrophotometry How does a scientist measure concentration with light? In spectrophotometry, light passes through a sample and the amount absorbed tells us something about it. In this workshop you will learn to accurately use micropipettors and a spectrophotometer to analyze the concentration of an unkown. This is a workhorse laboratory technique and the basis of innumerable biological and chemical assays. You will get experience using micropipettes, the analytical balance, spectrophotometer and a graphing method of your choosing (paper, Excel or R). 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. Instructor Danny Chan received his MSc in microbiology during the . . . More details

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