Build a Biosensor with Synthetic Biology

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Date(s) - Saturday, December 7, 2019
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Biotech Without Borders

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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.


Dr. Ellen Jorgensen is Chief Science Officer at the biotech startup Carverr and is the founder of Biotech Without Borders.  She has been teaching biotech to the general public for nearly ten years. 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