Biotech 101

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Date(s) - Saturday, May 4, 2019
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Biotech Without Borders

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A 12-hour class in 3 sessions

Saturdays May 4th, 11th and 18th from 3-7PM

The original biotechnology class for the general public developed by Dr. Ellen Jorgensen who has been teaching it in biohackerspaces since 2011. No previous science experience necessary!

Have you ever wanted to program a living cell? This is the class for you! We assume no prior knowledge of biology, and take you through the process of genetic engineering step-by-step. You will learn the basic techniques that enabled the biotech revolution, including gel electrophoresis, PCR and bacterial transformation. Extract DNA from your own cells and anaylyze it for markers of maternal ancestry.  Learn how genes are moved from one organism into another. Cut and paste DNA using enzymes and load your DNA circuits into a bacterial cell. This is a hands-on class, so wear comfy shoes- you will be at the bench most of the time.

Minimum age is 13, and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent.


Dr. Ellen Jorgensen is president of Biotech Without Borders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting science literacy and hands-on access to biotechnology.  In 2009 she cofounded Genspace, named one of the World’s Top 10 Innovative Companies in Education by Fast Company. Her efforts to promote low-cost bio-innovation are featured in Nature, Science, Discover, Wired, Make, BBC News, Dan Rather, PBS News, Discovery Channel, and The NY Times.  She has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, spent many years in the biotechnology industry, and is faculty at Cooper Union. Her TED talks (Biohacking: You Can Do It Too and What You Need To Know About CRISPR) have received over 2M views. Fast Company named her one of their Most Creative Leaders in Business