Upcoming Classes, Workshops & Events
please note that all our classes are hands-on in the lab. all safety gear and materials are provided.
Biotech 101 - august 20, 27 & September 3rd - 3-7Pm
fee: adults $300 - students $150
Channel your inner biohacker! A 12-hour class over four weeknights. This introductory hands-on class is specifically designed for those with no previous knowledge of molecular biology, or those who wish to brush up on their training. You will practice the techniques that are the basis of the biotech revolution, including DNA extraction, gel electrophoresis, bacterial transformation and PCR. We will discuss the history of biotech and where the field is going, plus the social and ethical implications of this fast-evolving technology. Three four-hour sessions on consecutive Sundays.
This class is a prerequisite for advanced classes. Minimum age is 13, and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent.
workshop: editing genomes with crispr - august 21st 7-10pm
CRISPR is the new genome editing technology that has disrupted the biotechnology industry. Is it really plug-and-play? Are we gods now? During the workshop you will edit the genome of yeast using CRISPR-Cas9. We'll take a look at the latest CRISPR developments, from editing human embryos to bringing back the Woolly Mammoth, and the bitter battle over patents and the Nobel Prize.
free knowscience talk by andrew abrams
A 21st Century Revolution: How Epigenetics is Transforming our Understanding of Health and Disease
One should be wary of understating the importance of DNA in biology. Its elucidation in the 20th Century must surely count among humanity’s greatest scientific achievements, transforming the way we think about life and providing a common thread between organisms as diverse as bacteria and chimpanzees. However, there are many profound biological questions that genetics is unable to resolve, not least among them some of our most intimate concerns about human health and disease, and the critical role of our lifestyle and other environmental factors in shaping these. The exploding field of epigenetics has the potential to address these questions. In this talk we will explore what we mean by epigenetics, why it is so important, and how we might be able to harness it for a healthier future.
Andrew Abrams grew up in London, England and studied Natural Sciences and Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During this time, he conducted research into DNA repair in organisms that thrive in the incredibly harsh conditions of volcanic springs. He has since blended his scientific interests with more commercial ones, having worked as an Associate in J.P. Morgan’s healthcare investment banking practice in London, advising organizations spanning the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic and other healthcare sub-sectors. He also holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and is currently working at a venture capital fund that invests in life sciences and information technology companies.
Monday september 18th- pcr and pizza- 7-10PM
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!
Build a biosensor with synthetic biology - september 25-28th - 6-9PM
fee: adults $300 - students $150
What if building a new life form was as easy as Lego bricks? Synthetic biology aims to simplify genetic engineering by creating libraries of DNA 'parts' that can be hooked together to form biological circuits. This has the added benefit of making it accessible to everyone, not just scientists. During this hands-on class you will delve into the iGEM library of standardized DNA parts, linking them together and loading your DNA program into a bacterial cell to build and test a biosensor circuit.
It's helpful to have basic lab skills taught in our introductory class (or equivalent). Minimum age is 13, and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent.
Four three-hour sessions on consecutive weekdays.