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Team:Denver Biolabs/Engagement

Team:Denver_Biolabs - 2016.igem.org

Team:Denver_Biolabs

Engagement

Denver Biolabs began as a community meetup, which quickly grew to over 200 members, and over 300 followers on Facebook. Denver Biolabs was created to make synthetic biology knowledge, skills, and innovation accessible to all. It was also Colorado’s first community DIY-biology lab and educational space. Since 2015, we have hosted 78 public meetups, built a fully-functional BL1 lab from the ground up, taught over 50 people the basics of biology in three separate two-day bootcamps, taught CRISPR to 20 community members in a one-day hands-on workshop, and have brought community members, academics, and local industry professionals together on multiple occasions for thought-provoking discussion and debate. We talked all of the AP Biology teachers in Colorado, and are working with several high schools and the Boys and Girls Club on collaborations between our organizations. We also mentor and provide lab space for projects led by the innovative and enthusiastic individuals teeming in the increasingly-entrepreneurial Denver-metro area.

Meetups
Our meetups range from hands-on activities like growing microcosms, making honey-flavored agar-caviar, and 3D printing biotool pieces to guest speakers, game nights, and work sessions. Most recently, we threw a miracle berry tasting potluck, had a bio-themed game night, grew our own Myco Foam, and hosted our fellow CO iGEM teams at a presentation practice meetup for our community.

Guest Speakers Guest Speakers
We have hosted incredible guest speakers from industry including Living Ink, Emerald Cloud Lab, Arcturus BioCloud, Redline Gallery, Revolution Biotechnology, and New Harvest. We have hosted speakers on topics ranging from photo-sensitive bacteria to create living art, using algae to create living greeting cards, and genetically engineering flowers to change colors to producing animal-less meat, and using robots to move biology out of the lab and into the cloud.

Our guests have illuimanted the broad reach and potential of synthetic biology, and inspired our growing Colorado community to get involved in this exciting and entrepreneurial field.

BioBootcamps & CRISPR
Over 50 community members have attended one of our BioBootcamp weekends - two-days of hands-on synthetic biology education and experiments including Gibson cloning, bacterial transformations, mini-preps, PCR, restriction enzyme digest, gel electrophoresis, human genomic DNA isolation, and Sanger sequences. We also put on a one-day hands-on CRISPR workshop where we guided 20 participants through an in-depth explanation of this incredible gene editing technology, its implications, and its potential. Participants then performed a CRISPR transformation intended to create antibiotic resistence in our E.coli. All of our participants got colonies the next day!

CRISPR workshop

Community Outreach
Community Outreach Denver Biolabs has participated in numerous community outreach activities including being the sole bio-presence at the Loveland North Colorado Maker Faire. We also taught a free twice-a-week bio school for three months to help our members get up to speed with the basics and foundational concepts of biology without having to go through a more traditional academic pathway. Finally, we have supported several community projects needing lab space and mentorship. Our hope is, in addition to building a strong community in Colorado around the potential of synthetic biology, that individuals in our community leverage the resources and network we've built to start companies, drive innovation, and create unique solutions with global impact.


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