One of the most frequently asked questions at BioCurious is, “What are people working on?” We’re glad you asked. Ideas are always a-brew at BioCurious — ideas that sometimes turn into award-winning projects with global recognition.
We believe that everyone should be able to participate in science. Our community projects are open to anyone of any age (who is a teen and up) regardless of skill, education, or experience. No membership is required – just drop in! The projects are driven entirely by whoever wants to show up and participate, and run by the two project leads for each project. This is a great opportunity to come check out BioCurious, and jump into some of the projects going on.
Register to attend any of these Community Projects at Meetup.com/Biocurious
CURRENT ACTIVE COMMUNITY PROJECTS
Meets every Thursday, 7:00-10pm.
For 6 years we have worked to design an open source DIY cell printer. We are on v5 of our hardware. A project for all ages with hardware, software, and wet lab work. Check out our project Wiki.
Real Vegan Cheese
Mondays @7pm every other Monday
An award-winning collaboration between Counter Culture Labs and BioCurious in Sunnyvale, to make real cheese without using any animals! It is a not a cheese substitute. It all starts with regular old baker’s yeast. We engineer our yeast to become milk-protein factories. Our milk proteins are then combined with water and vegan oil to make Vegan Milk which is ultimately converted into Real Vegan Cheese through standard cheese-making processes. Check out our wiki
CuttleFish RNA Sequencing
Meets every other Tuesdays @7:30pm
We aim to dive deep into the genome of Sepia bandensis (dwarf cuttlefish). Our plan is to perform genome and transcriptome analysis of this species, ultimately leading to the identification of highly edited RNA transcripts. We hope to find a correlation between changing environmental conditions and RNA editing capabilities. For added fun, the edited proteins can be expressed and analyzed for structure and function! We will also be researching and working towards raising our own batch of CuttleFish! Visit our project wiki!
Lab on a Chip
Meets Wednesdays @7pm
Join us for our newest community project: building a “Lab on a Chip” (which is a microfluidic device)! We’ll meet weekly to discuss & learn to build these devices. We have three active sub-projects we work on including designing a pocket petri dish, building cell free bio-sensors to detect heavy metals in water, and assembling a microdroplet microfludic device. You can follow the project on our project Meeting Notes.
Meets Every Other Tuesday @7pm
Kombucha Genomics is a collaborative citizen science effort working to gain a better understanding of everyone’s favorite vinegar-y beverage – Kombucha! Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast(SCOBY). A SCOBY takes a mixture of black tea and sugar, degrades the sugars through anaerobic fermentation, and ultimately turns it into a refreshing beverage. We’re working to learn as much as we can about the micro-organism masterminds behind this delicious and ancient drink. Some of our next steps include: ribosomal sequencing of SCOBY micro-organisms, isolation of particular yeast and bacterial strains, and organizing classes to introduce community members to our work and the biological sciences. Check out our project Wiki.
Meets Every Wednesday @6pm Online ONLY for BioCurious
The ambitious project to bring a generic insulin to market has many participants at BioCurious but no active meeting time at BioCurious, the Wednesday meeting is online to the meeting at Counter Culture Labs. The project has attracted many international labs to participate. Check out the website.
PREVIOUS AND INACTIVE COMMUNITY PROJECTS
Project Status – on indefinate hiatus. It will be missed.
We are working to build our own Surface Plasmon Resonance device using graphene and lasers. A project where biology meets physics. Check out our project wiki.
Build a Microscope
Project Status – COMPLETED! After just over 2 years of work we completed building a functional microscope out of an Illumnia gene sequencer.
A multi week hack-a-thon to build an inverted, optical, fluorescing microscope. We have spent the last year sourcing the parts for this project including a laser light source, optics and more for a functional microscope for use in our lab. Led by Eric Harness, our resident equipment guru. Check out our project wiki
iGEM 2015 Bay Area DIY Bio Team
Project Status – On Hold due to lack of interest. The project is up for adoption if a group is interested.
iGEM is the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, which is in its 11th year. iGEM runs the premiere international student competition in Synthetic Biology. Teams are given a kit of biological parts and work to build biological systems and operate them in living cells. Last year, we won a Gold Medal and prize for best Community Lab Project with Real Vegan Cheese. Join us as we begin our 2015 project. Great for all ages High School and up.
Plant BioTech Group
Project Status – On Hold
A regular publicly open plant group at Biocurious for all biology and non-biology enthusiasts. The charter of the group is to enable Plant Biotech in Bay area enthusiasts. We will have activities that range from: Classes (Cloning, Bacterial and Plant transformation, Tissue culture), infrastructure buildout (Grow chambers, Hydro/Aqua ponics,Abiotic stress chambers, Diagnostics), Library collection (Method, Seeds and germplasm, courseware, labware), Plant trait identification and development through all known mechanisms (hybridization, transgenic and mutagenic), Discussions (eg GMO vs Non-GMO education). maybe even Plants and Art (after all who does not love this… ).
Project Status – Spun out many projects, ideas, and companies, but no longer actively meeting.
Currently on hold – looking for someone willing to lead! Illuminate your world by harnessing the power of nature. project wiki
Getting carpal tunnel from pipetting? Be a part of the robotic uprising by making the robots work for you in the bio lab.
Members at BioCurious are working on a number of other projects as well. These projects typically do involve a lot of wetlab work, so you do need to be a member (and have taken our safety training) to participate.