Previous Events

2019 - Present

Please see details of events on Meetup!


6-8th - USA Science & Engineering Festival
Come spend a little time with the Virginia Coalition of Community Labs (VCCL). Meet the other people DIY-ing science in our region, engage with the public on DIYbio and DIYscience, show off some of our cool projects and inspire the next generation of little weirdos like us!
We'll be doing DIY cheek DNA (probably), pipette by numbers (maybe), showing off our agar art projects and tiny lab equipment! Sign up for a volunteer shift here
Festival is free/open to the public all weekend - for more details, see
March 29th - Learn how to be part of the City Nature Challenge
This hands-on workshop will teach you how to turn photos of plants and animals into data using's mobile apps and website. We'll also explore observations from the area and practice adding identifications.
The workshop will take place in a classroom-style set up at the AAAS headquarters. We unfortunately won't have great access to the outdoors, so please come prepared with at least a few photos of different kinds of plants or animals.
Please bring: 1)Mobile device with 3+ photos of biodiversity, 2) Laptop (with a few more photos if possible).
March 26th - Aquaponics Information Session
Learn about Chinese solar greenhouses, water filters, mushroom growing, fish husbandry, and more as it relates to aquaponics. Aquaponics systems combine conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. Learn about how to setup up a backyard system that really works. REGISTER ONLINE HERE:
March 26th - DIYbio @ Nova Maker Faire

The 2018 NoVa Maker Faire takes place on Sunday, March 18, 2018 from 11am - 5pm. Sign up for the meetup here.
Please note our NEW VENUE!! **George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia**
March 4th - Agar Art Workshop / CABS Annual General Meeting 
We are delighted to be partnering with the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) to host an Agar Art workshop this year! Join us for this hands-on activity to create your very own BioArt. You will learn the techniques for painting with bacteria on agar plates and will get to design and create your own colorful agar art.You will also have the opportunity to enter your microbial art into the 2018 ASM agar art contest! To learn more visit
We will also hold our AGM - everyone is welcome to come to our Capital Area BioSpace (CABS) Annual General Meeting. Sign up for the meetup here.


December 30th - Holiday Edition with special guest: Steve McInturff!!!
Come join DIYbio for a special holiday celebration with special guest Steve McInturff!!! Steve is back from his grad school adventures at Harvard University, so lets welcome him home with a holiday celebration! Please bring snacks to share and your favorite treat, and we'll hear all about the latest innovations in hearing science!! Steve will be talking about: ​Auditory Neuro-Prosthetics and Their Limitations. Sign up for the meetup here.
December 3rd - Special Guest: Tessa Callaghan
Could Kelp Be the Future of Sustainable Fashion? Tessa Callaghan will be speaking about Algaknit (Biodesign Challenge Winner 2016) - learn about novel ways of developing yarn from bacteria and fungi to make sustainable textiles. For more info see: Algaknit in Action. Sign up for the meetup here.
er 19th - Morning Lark or Night Owl? PCR Lab​
Have you felt jet-lagged after traveling far from home, and found it hard to sleep? Do you usually find yourself feeling tired at the same time of the day every day? Both of these phenomena are controlled by your circadian clock. Circadian clocks are internal timekeepers that regulate our body’s physiology and behavior on a cycle that repeats each day. This lab allows participants to test their own genotypes at the circadian clock gene Per3 locus that has been associated with sleep behavior preferences in humans. The coding region of this gene contains a VNTR (variable number tandem repeat) that is polymorphic (variable) across people. In one study, a Per3 allele carrying 4 copies of this repeat was found at higher frequencies in people with a preference for evening activity, while the allele with 5 copies of this repeat was found more frequently in individuals with a preference for morning activities.. Sign up for the meetup here.
November 15th - Gene Editing and Human Disease @ NAS
Recent scientific advances in genome editing technology, such as CRISPR-Cas9, have spurred an explosion of interest from around the globe in the possible ways in which gene editing can improve human health. With the addition of each new discovery come not only new possibilities, such as the treatment of genetic diseases, but challenges and ethical implications as well. Join us as we explore the basics of gene editing, new opportunities afforded by these technologies, and the people using these tools in their research. Be one of the first to try Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Science Media's new CRISPR interactive and test your gene editing skills with a hands-on activity from the NIH’s Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).
​This talk is hosted by the National Academies in downtown DC.  Sign up for the Meetup here, but keep in mind you MUST register for the event on eventbrite here
October 1st - Special Guest: Minnky Lee (Cancer Genomics)!
Please join us for a special talk from Dr. Minnky Lee on Cancer Genomics. Minnky is a Science Outreach and Community Engagement Specialist at the National Institutes of Health, where she works on the Precision Medicine Initiative Program called "All of Us (" 
She will be speaking about her post-doctoral research in the field of cancer genomics. Minnky investigated hereditary modifiers of breast and prostate cancer using systems biology, methods of gene expression manipulation including siRNA and CRISPR/Cas9, and high-throughput sequencing analyses like ChIP-seq and RNA-seq. Sign up for the meetup here.
September 10th - Special Guest: Elliot Roth!
Elliot Roth is a DIY biologist, the co-founder of Indie Lab, an independent science lab, and the founder of Spira, a company that makes algae technology to solve basic human needs. He is a Kairos Fellow, a Seasteading Ambassador, Halcyon Fellow and sits on the Virginia Governor’s Council for Youth Entrepreneurship. Elliot has spoken at Synbiobeta, SXSW, and Thought for Food on social impact, synthetic biology and food. Spira was chosen for the RebelBio, Lighthouse Labs, and the World Food Programme bootcamp, and is the winner of the CommBeBiz award. He is incredibly motivated to solve physiological needs using simple biological design. He will be speaking about his current and future lab work as well as passing out algae samples. Drop on by to learn how to get involved!. Sign up for the meetup here.
August 27th - Special Guests Callan Monette & Alyssa Luz-Ricca (iGEM)

iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines) is an international synthetic biology competition in which teams of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students from all over the world present projects of their own creation. The William & Mary iGEM team was founded in 2014, and currently consists of 10 students of various ages and backgrounds who share a passion for bioengineering and synthetic biology. The team was honored to win the Undergraduate Grand Prize at the iGEM Giant Jamboree in 2015. Sign up for the meetup here.
August 13th - ​Special Guest: Dr. Anastasia Bodnar - The Science and Safety of GMOs
There is a lot of information (and misinformation!) online and in the public sphere about GMOs.  What is a GMO?  Are they safe?  What promise does this technology hold?  This talk will simplify the science, safety and regulatory environment surrounding Genetically Modified Organisms, otherwise known as GMOs.  There will be a Q&A session afterwards so come with your questions!  Are you concerned about GMOs in the food supply?  Interested in starting a company but need to know more about GMO regulations?  Just generally inquisitive?  We want to hear from you!   Sign up for the meetup here.
July 13th - DIYbio/DC Genomics: Citizen Science w/ EyeWire and Barcode Long Island
Citizen science directors from Eyewire and a DNA Barcoding project are coming down to speak at a citizen science symposium at the NIH on Friday. Thursday night they will be speaking at a joint DCGenomics/Capital Area BioSpace meetup about folks getting involved in their projects!  This event is located out of Flanagan's Harp & Fiddle in Bethesda, MD.  Learn more and sign up for the meetup here.
June 11th - Summer Planning / Project Updates
Have an idea for a project that you want help or feedback on?  Classes you want to see?  A wicked cool project that you just can't wait to show off?  This is the event for you.  We will be discussing the BioSpace's summer plans and showcasing member projects.  Sign up for the meetup here.
May 14th - Special Guest Andrea Wiggins, PhD: Citizen Science
Andrea Wiggins is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland’s iSchool and director of the Open Knowledge Lab at UMD. She received her PhD in Information Science & Technology from the Syracuse University School of Information Studies and was a postdoctoral fellow with DataONE, hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  She will be discussing her research on citizen science and how citizen science effects all of us.  Sign up for the meetup here.
May 8th - ​Carnegie Lecture: George Church, PhD - Engineering Human Genomes & Environments
Naturally occurring gene drive systems rig the inheritance game and cause some genes to be preferentially inherited, “driving” them out into the population. CRISPR gene-editing tools can be used to create a gene drive in the lab, enabling scientists to promote the inheritance of desired traits over undesirable ones. This opens up the possibility of using this technology to address urgent humanitarian problems, including the spread of insect-borne diseases like malaria, Lyme disease, and Zika. But the potential risks mean that it is crucial that officials develop and enforce safety protocols for employing this technology.
This talk is hosted by the Carnegie Institution for Science in downtown DC.  Sign up for the Meetup here, but keep in mind you MUST register for the event on eventbrite here
April 23rd - Special Guest Roger Dodd, PhD: Is blood sicker than water?
For the last 45 years, Dr. Dodd has worked in the field of blood safety. In that time the risk of infection from a blood transfusion has gone from 10% to less than one in a million. His talk will cover: the history of improvement in blood transfusion safety through technology, current concerns about emerging infections, and possible future technologies.  The talk will run from 2:00 - 4:00 pm on Sunday, April 23rd. Sign up for the meetup here.
April 15th - Agar Art at BUGSS
THIS SPRING we are super excited that Baltimore Under Ground Science Space (BUGSS) and the Capital Area BioSpace (CABS) are official American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Agar Art 2017 partners! What is Agar Art you ask? It is a perfect marriage of biology and art that everyone and anyone can get into. Come to the BUGSS lab to learn about some special microbes that produce and array of beautiful and striking colors. You will be able to use the tools and instructions provided by BUGSS and CABS to create your very own living work of art on agar plates!
Best of all!? You can enter your bio-art work into a contest! The winner will receive an ASM T-shirt, a certificate, a GiantMicrobe, and his/her piece will be included in the Agar Art Gallery at ASM's Microbe meeting (New Orleans, LA, June 1-5, 2017). Sign up for the Meetup here, but keep in mind you must register for the event on Eventbrite here.
April 9th - Special Guest Ben Busby, PhD: Intro to NCBI Bioinformatics Tools
​Details coming soon.  Join the conversation on meetup here.
March 19th - Maker Faire NoVa at South Lakes High School
We will have a booth at this years NoVa Maker Faire.  A Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue to for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects.  Maker Faires have been described as the "greatest show and tell on Earth."  Come visit our booth to get hands-on experience using a micropipette, extract your own DNA, witness the importance of photosynthesis through "zombie corn", and even check out fluorescent bacteria! RSVP for the meetup here and check out the webpage for the Faire itself here.

February 26th - PTC Taster Lab
To taste or not to taste, that is the question. In the PTC Taster Lab you will examine how small genetic variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can change our ability to perceive the world around us. The human sense of taste is composed of an intricate neurophysiological network, but as we’ll see in this lab, it only takes a few small changes in our DNA to change the way we taste.  RSVP for the meetup here.
February 12th - Data Mining Workshop
On February 12th from 2-4:00 pm, biological data mining and computational analysis subject matter expert, Thomas Heinman, PhD, will discuss the fundamentals of state-of-the-art data mining techniques which have been designed to handle the challenge presented by the flood of data on biological processes such from genomic and protein sequences, DNA microarrays, protein interactions, biomedical images, to disease pathways and electronic health records.  RSVP for the meetup here.
January 22nd - Micropipetting 101
Come visit us on Sunday, January 22nd from 2-4:00 pm to learn to use the most important tool in a molecular biologist's toolbox - the micropipette!  Practice proper technique and test your accuracy!  RSVP for the meetup here.


December 18th - Guest Speaker Shaun Moshasha
Come visit us on Sunday, December 18th from 2-4:00 pm to attend a talk from a special guest speaker.  Shaun Moshasha is the founder of Charlottesville Open Bio Labs, a similar but more mature BioSpace like ours located in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Hear about their origins, the lab space, and the types of programming they offer.  Their website can be found here: Open Bio Labs  RSVP for the meetup here.
December 9th - Mini Class at BUGSS: Using Biotechnology to Fight Mosquitos
Learn how biotechnology can be used to create novel mosquito control systems using anti-viral Wolbachia bacteria and lethal genes. Then have the opportunity to use PCR, gel electrophoresis, and DNA extraction to screen local mosquitoes for the presence of Wolbachia. This event is hosted out of the Baltimore Under Ground Science located in Baltimore, Maryland.  Learn more about the event and register here.   
December 6th - Microbes After Hours - Spillover: Zika, Ebola and Beyond
Throughout the last few decades, diseases that spill over from animals to humans have been on the rise. What’s behind their increase, and can we do anything to combat these dangerous foes? Spillover: Zika, Ebola & Beyond, from HHMI's Tangled Bank Studios, investigates the rise of spillover viruses like Zika, Ebola and Nipah. We find out how human behaviors spread diseases, and what science can do to anticipate and prevent epidemics around the world. Join us for the film and discussion with filmmakers Aileen O'Hearn and James Barrat.  There is limited seating and tickets are expected to sell out fast. The talk will start promptly at 6:00 p.m. ET (please arrive early).  Learn more about the event and get tickets here.
December 4th - DIYbio Meetup
Come visit us on Sunday, December 4th from 2-4:00 pm as part of our recurring meetup.  This will mostly be project updates, including the incubator and a stirring incubator/water bath.  There is also potential to conduct a bacterial transformation laboratory exercise, stay tuned.  RSVP for the meetup here
November 13th - Guest Speaker Andrea Pais
Andrea Pais is the founder and CEO of Novel Microdevices, a start-up company located out of BUGSS, another biospace in Baltimore, MD. Novel Microdevices develops simple, affordable, and accurate point-of-care diagnostic devices.  This is an excellent opportunity to get inspired for your own biotech start-up ambitions.  Please visit our meetup page to RSVP.    
October 23rd - Bacterial Incubator Build Part 2
On Sunday, October 23rd from 2-4:00 pm we will be continuing our collaborative build for a bacterial incubator.  We already have one prototype working, but we just need to refine it a little.  Come on by and lend your support.  
October 13th - 'DNA: Not Merely the Secret of Life' presented by Dr. Nadrian Seeman
Everyone learns in school that DNA is the genetic coding material  found in all organisms. However, the information storage capacity that enables DNA to function in the world of biology can also be exploited to control the creation of 3D molecular structures. Dr. Seeman will talk about how DNA can be programmed readily to make objects, crystals, and even nanomechanical devices!  This event is hosted at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Northwest DC.  Learn more and sign up for the event here.
 October 9th - Bacterial Incubator Build
On Sunday, October 9th from 2-4:00 pm we will be hosting a collaborative build for a bacterial incubator.  A bacterial incubator is a very simple, yet very necessary device for a whole variety of biotechnology experiments.  An incubator will let us grow cultures of genetically engineered bacteria, explore the local microbiome, or even see if your kids are properly washing their hands.  We are looking for volunteers to supply parts, so RSVP on our meetup page to help us coordinate our build.  Bacterial Incubator Build Meetup 
September 25th - Silver Spring Maker Faire

We will have a booth at this year's Maker Faire in Silver Spring, Maryland, the largest Maker Faire in the DC area.  The Faire itself goes from noon-5:00 pm and there are many things to do, from 3D printing, robotics, and our biotechnology set-up.  More details will be available as we get closer to the Faire, stay tuned.  Silver Spring Maker Faire Website
September 11th - DIYbio Meetup
Come visit us Sunday, September 11th from 2-4:00 pm as part of our recurring meetup.  Discuss potential access to lab space for conducting CRISPR/gene therapy experiments, explore interest in citizen science monitoring for emerging diseases/emergency management, and more.  Please visit our meetup page to RSVP.
 ​August 28th - Building with Biology Day 
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History will be hosting local synthetic biologists and scientists to discus with public audiences the emerging field of synthetic biology.  There will be a discussion of the societal implications for this emerging technology along with the exciting possibilities of engineering new biological systems.  The event is open from 10am until 2pm  More information on this event can be found at the museum's website here
August 27th - Guest Speaker Dr. Andrea Polli

Dr. Andrea Polli is a bioartist whose work explores the intersection between life, science, and technology.  Some of her work includes real-time visualizations of air quality along with sonifications of extreme weather events done in collaboration with atmospheric scientists. Examples of her work can be found here
 August 14th - DIYbio Meetup
​Come visit us Sunday, August 14th from 2-4:00 pm as part of our regularly recurring meetup.  Discuss building up our lab equipment, possible DIY projects or simply get to know the community.  Please visit our ​meetup page to RSVP.
July 10th - Biosecurity in the age of Big Data

We would like to thank Ed You for delivering an informative and interesting talk this Sunday. We also appreciate our members for attending the talk and maintaining a conversation with Ed as it is important for regulators and the DIY-bio community alike to maintain a constructive dialogue so that we all might be stewards of science.