HiveBio Students Get a Hands-On Lesson in Neurobiology

Bergen highlights various regions of the brain

This afternoon eight members of the community participated in HiveBio’s first run of the Sheep Brain Dissection class. Co-Founder Bergen McMurray led the class through a description of the different regions of the brain and explained how the different cell types connect and function within this amazingly complex system.

Eight members of the community are ready to get their hands dirty to learn about neurobiology

Bergen explains which areas of the brain are responsible for locomotion, sensory perception, speech, learning, emotions, and why the connection between right and left brain is so important. She also discusses how neurobiology is studied and how neurological diseases were discovered and treated.

Peeling away the outer membrane

The class was routinely encouraged to comment and ask questions. Several discussions focused on oxytocin, the “happiness” chemical in the brain, and the evolution of sexually dimorphic nuclei in the hypothalamus, and how research on this interesting but controversial topic may progress.

HiveBio would like to thank all of our students today for participating in the sheep brain dissection class and contributing to our discussion. See you next time in the lab!


Introduction to Microscopy with Dr. Cortney Bouldin

On Saturday January 25 at 1pm Cort Bouldin, Ph.D. will lead a workshop on the basics of microscopy and imaging. Get a view of the microscopic world of developmental biology, and learn how to capture and manage microscopy images using the NIH’s free image processing software, ImageJ.

Saturday January 25 @ 1pm
Introduction to Microscopy
Dr. Cortney Bouldin

Dr. Bouldin is a developmental biologist who uses zebrafish to study how humans develop. In this workshop he will share samples of his work, giving students a chance to learn about developmental biology, as well as instruct students on how to view specimens via a light microscope. Dr. Bouldin will share his research, as well demonstrate how time lapse photography can be used in research.

Zebrafish2In this class we will be using the cell phone microscopes that have been built in previous workshops. If you have one you want to bring, that’s great (or sign up for the next workshop on January 11th). Otherwise, we will provide microscopes for students.

Register at this link for Introduction to Microscopy


Happy New Year from HiveBio!

Due to the holiday we will not have Tuesday night Science Discussion or open lab hours this week. Tuesday night Science Discussion will resume on Tuesday January 14th at 7pm and open lab hours will resume January 5th, but fear not! Always feel free to contribute to science and community discussion on our Google groups page.

We are hosting some exciting classes in January that are open for registration:

January 11, 1 pm Smartphone to Digital Microscope Workshop

January 18, 1pm Sheep Brain Dissection

January 25, 1pm Introduction to Microscopy with Dr. Cortney Bouldin

Class Registration is available at this link. Remember, a $50 donation to our Microryza campaign awards you a Gift Certificate good for the value of a class, workshop or lecture registration and is fully transferrable (materials not included). See you in the lab!

Lecture by Dr. Azra Suko: A sweet solution to fuel troubles

With the inevitable depletion of the world’s oil supply, there has been an increasing worldwide interest in finding new renewable and biobased energy sources. Lignocellulosic materials such as agricultural residues, forestry, municipal wastes and other low-cost biomasses are an abundant and renewable source of sugar substrate that could be fermented to biofuels and biochemicals.

A Sweet Solution of Fuel Troubles
Discussion led by Dr. Azra Suko

Dr. Azra Suko, a graduate of the University of Washington Biofuels and Bioproducts Laboratory, will present a lecture titled A Sweet Solution to Fuel Troubles, and will be available for questions and discussion on these topics. Dr. Suko is an expert in the production of biofuels and biochemicals via fermentation process, and holds a patent and three recent publications about biofuels and biochemicals.

EDIT: Due to emergency circumstances this session will no longer be held on January 19th. We will post the new date as soon as it is rescheduled. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Saturday January 11th, Smartphone to Digital Microscope Workshop

Registration for our next Smartphone to Digital Microscope workshop is now open! Join us on Saturday January 11th at 1pm to construct a stand to turn your smartphone (or any phone with a digital camera) into a 175X light microscope. Look at bugs, cells, leaves and more! Get it ready for the sheep brain dissection the following Saturday! You can view photos of our previous class here.

Register at this link

Bonus Gift Certificates from HiveBio! ‘Tis the Season



Starting today, December 18, as an added incentive to contribute to our Microryza campaign, we will be giving away a bonus Gift Certificate for every $50 donated. Gift Certificates are valid for one open lab session or one class, lecture or workshop. They can be used by the donor or given away as a gift. Give the gift of science and education this holiday season!

We are raising funds for materials for our Molecular Biology class, as well as scholarships for HiveBio desk memberships. HiveBio’s mission is to promote community involvement in science and provide a safe lab space for scientific discovery and education. Our Microryza page can be viewed at the following address:

Brains! More than just zombie food.

Join HiveBio co-founder Bergen McMurray for Basic Brain Dissection! Through a basic dissection of sheep brains, this hands-on lab class will take you through the major areas of the brain. We will discuss neuronal structure, neural cell types, functional divisions of the brain and more. This is an excellent class for anyone who is interested in basic neuroscience and basic dissection safety techniques.

Sheep Brain Dissection
Saturday January 18th, 1pm
Co-founder Bergen McMurray

Students under 18 are welcome, but they must have a parent present. Everyone intending to participate must pre-register to reserve a brain. Brains are preserved in NFP (non-formaldehyde preservative), a fluid designed to minimize the unpleasant odor of formaldehyde. Students will use surgical blades to open up the brain, so please consider these safety issues before registering a child.

In order to acquire the materials for this class, pre-registration at this link is required.

Please contact if you have any questions or concerns about this class.

New Microryza Campaign! Help Sponsor Students and Citizen Scientists through HiveBio

We are raising money to fund Keyed Desk Memberships and Materials Fees for the Basic Molecular Biology class. Please share the link to the Microryza campaign with your friends, family, and co-workers via email, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

Desk Memberships at HiveBio give the member 24 hour access to the lab as well as exclusive use of one our office stations, which includes a desk, computer, and storage. This is our highest cost membership. We’d like to be able to offer this in scholarship to 8 individuals who wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. That could be you! So spread the word!

Our Basic Molecular Biology class is offered as an introduction into some basic processes of molecular biology. This entry level class helps members learn DNA isolation, Gel electrophoresis and PCR processes in a hands-on, fun environment with other interested citizen scientists. The cost for this class is usually $15 plus the cost of materials. We’d like to be able to cover the cost of materials for 4 runs of this class, making the only cost to students the $15 class fee. This would be a significant discount and make the class more widely accessible.


Gary Myles’ Intellectual Property Discussion Series, Part 2

Stay tuned for our second event in a series of discussions involving intellectual property and biology. Conducting your own experiments using new molecular and genetic technologies in a citizen science environment seems innocent, but it may have legal implications, especially if it involves commercialization.

Gary Myles, Ph.D. and attorney at law will give a lecture and host a discussion about the Supreme Court’s Decision on the Association for Molecular Pathology vs Myriad Genetics, Inc case. In this ruling it was decided that isolated DNA Continue reading