• PCR and Pizza at Biotech Without Borders

    Biotech Without Borders

    Biotech Without Borders (https://www.biotechwithoutborders.org) is holding its monthly PCR and Pizza event in their lab at 33 Flatbush. All are welcome! Pizza and beer and talking science. You can even extract your own DNA and do a PCR-based test for a genomic mutation in the CCR5 gene.

  • Lab Skills Workshop: Spectrophotometry

    Biotech Without Borders

    $25.00

    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 unknown. 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: 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 course of his PhD candidacy at the University of Chicago studying the interaction of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) with a model system of organotypic human keratinocytes in an infectious disease focused department. He has been a research technician for many years in multiple fields including cellulostic ethanol production, protein crystallography, prefrontal cortex development and heat shock proteins. The common set of skills underlying his practice are molecular biology and scientific inquiry which he aspires to apply to society in order to foster new institutions of research and learning. Currently, he makes his living fact checking pharmaceutical ads in an agency while trying to defend his time to pursue independent research centered around protocol development for the DIY science community. You can follow his activities online at danwchan.ca or find him in person around NYC. NOTE: student pricing available on Eventbrite

  • Lab Skills Workshop: Cutting and Measuring DNA

    Biotech Without Borders

    $25.00

    How does a scientist know how large a fragment of DNA is? A routine answer is: by comparing it 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 technique used every day in labs all around the world. In this workshop you will get experience using restriction enzymes, pipettes, gel electrophoresis equipment, heat block and transilluminator to visualize your work. 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 course of his PhD candidacy at the University of Chicago studying the interaction of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) with a model system of organotypic human keratinocytes in an infectious disease focused department. He has been a research technician for many years in multiple fields including cellulostic ethanol production, protein crystallography, prefrontal cortex development and heat shock proteins. The common set of skills underlying his practice are molecular biology and scientific inquiry which he aspires to apply to society in order to foster new institutions of research and learning. Currently, he makes his living fact checking pharmaceutical ads in an agency while trying to defend his time to pursue independent research centered around protocol development for the DIY science community. You can follow his activities online at danwchan.ca or find him in person around NYC. NOTE: student pricing available on Eventbrite

  • PCR and Pizza at Biotech Without Borders

    Biotech Without Borders

    Biotech Without Borders (https://www.biotechwithoutborders.org) is holding its monthly PCR and Pizza event in their lab at 33 Flatbush. All are welcome! Pizza and beer and talking science. You can even extract your own DNA and do a PCR-based test for a genomic mutation in the CCR5 gene. Last time we had someone who was a rare double mutant!

  • Biomess and Other Recent Works: A Talk by Oron Catts

    Biotech Without Borders

    Join us for a free talk by bioartist Oron Catts, a mesmerizing speaker whose focus on the semi-living in his work gives him a unique connection to Biotech without Borders. He's here all the way from Perth, Australia. Don't miss this talk! Biomess, currently on show at the State Art Gallery of Western Australia is a collaboration with the West Australian Museum. The installation includes (mainly) non charismatic specimens from the museum’s collection that defy common ideas about self, gender, identity and individuality as well as liveness, artificiality and technology. In addition to preserved/taxidermised specimens this installation presents living organisms and technologically “designed” and manipulated life forms. It uses luxury retail design tropes to ask what kind of aesthetics should be used when life becomes a commodity or objects of desire. How do we make sense of living forms that were constructed to blur what we consider specimen, scientific tool, product and an art object? Another related project is titled Crossing Kingdoms. This is a collaboration with the UK National Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology at the University of Edinburgh where we are attempting to fuse human and yeast cell to create a life form the exists across biological kingdoms. The work in progress on this project have been presented recently at the Edinburgh International science Festival. Lastly the talk will present a fascinating project in which he followed Victor Frankenstein’s footsteps; Oron wanted to find some material evidence to the fictional events described in the book published exactly two hundred years ago. He was particularly interested in Frankenstein’s second attempt to create a life form, a female companion to the creature he created in Ingolstadt. To his surprise, he found some evidence that may shed new light on that chapter of Frankenstein; to the extent that it is quite feasible that Victor Frankenstein failed in his attempt of his second creation and needed to retract his claims for higher moral ground and face this failure. In Oron's own words, "The issue of low success rates in the reproducibility of experiments has dogged science from its very beginning, and makes me wonder if, when scientists retrospectively claim the high moral ground in their research, they do this instead of admitting failure or that they have spent their career barking up the wrong tree? Is this one of the hidden lessons in Shelley’s story?" Oron Catts is the Director of SymbioticA, The Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, School of Human Sciences, The University of Western Australia. He is an artist, researcher, designer and curator whose pioneering work with the Tissue Culture and Art Project which he established in 1996 is considered a leading biological art project. In 2000 he co-founded SymbioticA, a biological art research centre at The University of Western Australia. Under Catts’ leadership SymbioticA has gone on to win the inaugural Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in Hybrid Art (2007) the WA Premier Science Award (2008) and became a Centre for Excellence in 2008. Catts interest is Life; more specifically the shifting relations and perceptions of life in the light of new knowledge and it applications. Often working in collaboration with other artists (mainly Dr. Ionat Zurr) and scientists, Catts has developed a body of work that speaks volumes about the need for new cultural articulation of evolving concepts of life.

  • The Science of GMOs- a KnowScience Talk by Kate Bredbenner

    Biotech Without Borders

    Celebrate Thanksgiving and science with a talk by Kate Bredbenner Is your Thanksgiving Turkey a GMO? Should you care? Getting information on GMOs from the internet can be a scary experience.This talk will explain the what, why and how of GMOs in an unbiased, informative and scientifically accurate way. Kate will examine real-world examples of GMOs and give a scientist's perspective on the upsides and downsides of the technology. Kate Bredbenner is a scientist at the Rockefeller University in the laboratory of Cellular Biophysics where she studies virus DNA engineering using fluorescence microscopy. She is a science communicator and blog editor for Know Science and an avid supporter of science outreach organizations.

  • The Ecstasy of the False Positive- a Free Talk by Richard Pell

    Biotech Without Borders

    Come hear this fascinating speaker! The Center for PostNatural History is the world’s only museum dedicated to the collection and documentation of living organisms that have been intentionally altered by people, through process such as selected breeding and genetic engineering. The museums Founder and Director, Rich Pell, will speak about the unusual specimens that teeter the edge of natural history. He will revisit some historic examples of specimens that were exposed as hoaxes as well as actual ones that were suspected of being fakes. These specimens serve as powerful metaphor for the false positives that always lurk on the edge of science. Each reminds us of the difference between what we know, and what we would like to be true. Richard Pell is the founder and director of the Center for PostNatural History, an organization dedicated to the collection and exposition of life-forms that have been intentionally and heritably altered through domestication, selective breeding, tissue culture or genetic engineering. The Center for PostNatural History operates a permanent museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and produces traveling exhibitions that have appeared in science and art museum throughout Europe and the United States including the Victoria and Albert Museum and Wellcome Collection in London, the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, the CCCB in Barcelona, the ZKM in Karlsruhe, the 2008 Taipei Biennial, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History as well as being featured in National Geographic, Nature Magazine, American Scientist, Popular Science and New Scientist. The CPNH has been awarded a Rockefeller New Media fellowship, a Creative Capital fellowship, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, and received generous support from Waag Society and the Kindle Project. Pell was award the 2016 Pittsburgh Artist of the Year. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Who's Reading Your Genes? A Public Forum on Genomic Privacy

    Biotech Without Borders

    Come on down to Biotech Without Borders for a special event! Genomic privacy is more important than ever, with DNA testing infiltrating multiple aspects of our society from immigration policies to personal genomics to law enforcement. Join us for this lively forum, and we'll also show you how easy it is to query your own DNA. You'll extract DNA from yourself and amplify it using PCR to test yourself for a CCR5 mutation. Pizza, beer, great conversation and lab work!

  • Tonight! PCR and Pizza at Biotech Without Borders

    Biotech Without Borders

    Biotech Without Borders (https://www.biotechwithoutborders.org) is holding its monthly PCR and Pizza event in their lab at 33 Flatbush. All are welcome! Pizza and beer and talking science. You can even extract your own DNA and do a PCR-based test for a genomic mutation in the CCR5 gene. Last time we had someone who was a rare double mutant!

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