Genspace instructors come from top institutions around New York City to teach advanced biology in an easy-to-understand, hands-on way. Our course offerings cover biological concepts, lab technique, genomics, synthetic biology, neuroscience, bioart and biodesign, and social implications of emerging biotech.

 

Fall ferments

october 8 - 11:00 AM TO 1:00 PM

Smell, taste, discuss and make a few simple seasonal ferments. In this workshop we’ll explore and craft two delicious types of vegetable ferments that are easily made at home without any special ingredients or equipment.

 

Biotextiles: Grow your own materials for fashion design

TWO-PART COURSE: October 9, 13 - 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

In this two-part introduction to biotextiles, you’ll learn how to grow fabrics from microbes and then use natural and bioengineered bacteria to dye them.

 
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Biohacker Bootcamp

FOUR-part course- OCTOBER 23, 24, 25, 26 - 6:00 PM TO 9:00 PM

We'll extract our own DNA, analyze ancestry through bioinformatics, splice genes into bacteria, and learn all the standard techniques such as using pipettes, gel electrophoresis, amplifying DNA with PCR reactions, working with restriction enzymes to build plasmids, and growing and transforming bacteria.

 

BIOTECHNOLOGY CRASH COURSE

November 4, 11, 18 - 2:00 PM TO 6:00 PM

This introduction covers the basic techniques that led to the biotech revolution. Learn genetic engineering, gel electrophoresis, and PCR, then explore where biotech is heading in the future.

 
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GENOME EDITING WITH CRISPR-Cas9

November 6, 7, 8, 15 - 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

CRISPR gene editing has been touted as a game changer in DNA science. Now learn how to do it yourself in this intensive lab class. Recommended for participants who have some lab experience or have taken our introductory courses.


Previous Classes

 

Bioluminescence: Painting With Glowing Microbes

Exploring bioluminescence, participants will paint with organisms that generate their own light through chemical reactions. Get up close and hands-on with some light-emitting marine creatures. 

 
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KOMBUCHA PAPER WORKSHOP

Students will grow paper from living kombucha culture. This symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria can be used to make renewable art materials.

 

2D DIY Bioprinting: Hacking Your Home Printer

Learn the basics of bioprinting in this hands on class. Participants will assemble and program an InkShield home printer with Arduino to print e.coli with a fluorescent protein.

 

DIYbio Incubator: Build Your Own Incubator

Participants will learn how to build a low-cost incubator including basic electronics and Arduino programming. We will also use our newly constructed DIY incubator to run an experiment.

 

BIOINFORMATICs

Want to find out what bacteria are living around you? In this workshop we will learn the methods for identifying microbial species with DNA sequencing data, and understand what their functions are and how that can inform decisions or urban design.

 
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BIOTECHNOLOGY THROUGH SCIENCE FICTION

Science fiction gives us an opportunity to speculate on how today’s technologies will reshape tomorrow. This course explores the potential social impacts of biotech through videos, film, art and literature.

 

Synthetic Biology: Learn to Program Life

In this workshop, you will learn the fundamentals of synthetic biology in a hands-on way. This workshop complements a panel discussion taking place at Data & Society on March 16th entitled Synthetic Biology—Programming with DNA. 

 
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FERMENTATION: Making kefir

Fermentation is one of the oldest food processing methods used today. Scientifically known as zymology, it is the conversion of carbohydrates into alcohols, carbon dioxide, using yeast, or bacteria. Learn to make kefir using milk and milk alternatives.

 

The Chemistry of Lotions and Creams: DIY Beauty Products

In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn about the chemistry behind the ingredients in lotions and creams, as well as the physical processes required to create these products. 

 

family science lab

Anyone can be a researcher, no matter their age. Children (ages 6-12) and grown-up pairs will get hands on experience in a biotech lab, extracting their own DNA and exploring its molecular structure in our Family Science Laboratory. 

 
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Consumer Empowerment: What DNA Reveals About Your Food

What's in your food? Find out in this hands-on lab class. You will learn how to extract DNA from food using techniques such as DNA barcoding and PCR to determine if that goat cheese is really from goats, what’s really in a Filet-O-Fish, and if that granola you had for breakfast is really non-GMO. 

 

Beer Brewing 101: Homebrewing Essentials

You will learn all the basics to get you up and running while brewing a batch of beer. You’ll learn about extract brewing, malts, grains, yeasts and how to avoid or troubleshoot the most common problems.

 

Plant Based Pigments: Dyeing with Indigo

In this hands-on class we will explore one of the most iconic natural dyes – Indigofera tinctoria, commonly known as indigo. Participants will learn how to create a fermented indigo vat, and walk away with their own hand dyed fabric samples.

 

Speculative Biodesign

In this course we will imagine speculative design outcomes using biotechnology. We will work hands-on in the lab to grow material samples and imagine how the materials might be used in the future. We’ll learn to use design as a medium for experimentation to stimulate critical discussion on the social and cultural implications of current and emerging biotechnologies.

 

FOOD FUTURES

In this class we will look at ecosystems, speculative design, and biotechnologies related to agriculture. Participants will design a projects that incorporate elements of contemporary technologies and centuries old practices of biodiversity and permaculture.

 

DNA ORIGAMI

DNA origami consists in "knitting" shapes with DNA strands. In this class we will learn about the applications of this technology, and how to use CAD (computer-aided-design) programs to design DNA origami shapes on the nanoscale.

 

Histology Lab

Histology is the study of the microscopic anatomy (microanatomy) of cells and tissue of plants and animals. See microscopic structures under the microscope and projected on the wall. In this one day Histology Lab we will use light microsopes to study animal tissue cultures.

 

DIY Neuroscience

In this course, participants will measure neuron firing in cockroaches and crickets, conducting experiments with music and mind altering chemicals to see how neurons fire firsthand.

 

Local color: extracting pigment from plants

This hands-on class will examine local color- how to grow it, find it, and extract it. We will create natural dyes from food waste and locally foraged plants.

 

PRIVACY IN THE ERA OF PERSONAL GENOMICS

In less than a decade, the practice of genomics has become ubiquitous, and the data sets enormous. Its wide adoption comes barbed with ethical challenges, tensions between scientific progress and individual privacy, and a heritage based in racial discrimination.

 

Non-Toxic B/W Film Processing Using Coffee and Beer

Process your own film using beer and instant coffee crystals with MONO NO AWARE. In this one-day workshop, participants will be given all of the information necessary to mix their own negative processing chemistry using a combination of consumable items from the grocery store.

 

BIOART MASTER CLASS

In this three part bioart survey the lab is the new artist studio, and the petri dish the new canvas. Participants will break down barriers between biology, art, and design — exploring new ways to work with and grow microbes, slime mold and bioluminescent organisms as a part of the artist's creative practice.

 

BIOHACKER BOOT CAMP

An intensive course that covers the fundamental aspects of the biotech revolution in an accelerated and hand-on format—we'll extract and process our own DNA, analyze ancestry through bioinformatics, splice genes into bacteria, and learn foundational lab techniques. We also cover how to make your own equipment.

 

SUMMER FERMENTS

Smell, taste, discuss and make a few simple seasonal ferments. In this workshop we’ll explore and craft two delicious types of vegetable ferments that are easily made at home without any special ingredients or equipment.

 

Fungi Fabrication: Mycelium Materials

In this course we will work with mycelium as material for experimental design applications. Working hands-on in the lab, participants will grow a variety of samples with mycelium ranging from biodegradable ‘styrofoams’ to leather-like textile alternatives.

 

SLime Mold workshop

Long classified as Fungi, slime "molds" are now known to be a creature all their own. In this 2 hour workshop participants will explore slime mold—how to grow it and how to use it for bioart.