San Diego Zoo scientists share new data at the La Jolla Library

Thank you to everyone who attended Tom Nguyen’s talk at the La Jolla Library. Attendees were some of the first people in the world to see breakthrough data on Northern white rhino stem cells. Please check back here for more lectures from San Diego scientists in the New Year.

Under the microscope at STEAM Maker Fest

The Wet Lab joined BioEasi for a fun data of science and education at San Diego’s STEAM Maker Fest at Del Mar Fairgrounds. With our portable LED microscopes, kids were able to examine bacteria and fungus under the microscope while learning about beneficial micro-organisms in our food and environment. Thanks to everyone who helped make this event a success.

CRISPR Design Workshop at the Library

Thank you to everyone who came to our CRISPR design workshop at the La Jolla Library. Participants learned how to access DNA sequences on NCBI, manipulate and analyze sequences on Benchling and design CRISPR guide RNAs to correct a pathogenic mutation in the human genome. Follow the protocol here to do it on your own!

Cracking the Code of Life- with BioEASI

This week the La Jolla Library hosted a workshop from UCSD graduate student group BioEasi. Kids learned about DNA through various hands-on activities- extracting DNA from chicken liver, building their own DNA models, and examining mutant worms under the microscope.

Fermentation Workshop in La Jolla

Fermentation is the original biotechnology. At the Wet Lab’s most recent workshop, families at the La Jolla Library learned how yeast convert sugars into carbon dioxide gas and ethanol with fun, hands-on experiments. We started by making “yeast balls” where the yeast cells are embedded in an alginate matrix. The yeast were then exposed to solutions with or without glucose, and the progress of the chemical reaction was monitored with a pH indicator. We also used the Wet Lab’s portable microscopes to observe our yeast and the micro-organisms that make kombucha.

Journal Club is Back!

Welcome back to journal club everyone! Members of the Wet Lab met last week at Cafe Bassam- Christoph from SpaceBio discussed the biology of organisms in space and the implications for travel to other planets. We also reviewed a recent paper on protein structure and the early history of life. Check this site for upcoming opportunities to participate in (or lead) future journal clubs.

Science Lecture and Art at the Public Library

Friends of the Wet Lab attending the Citizen Science Lecture at the Downtown Central Library got to see something unusual and inspiring. Dr. Dorota Skowronska-Krawczyk shared her research on the molecular basis of glaucoma and a series of paintings beautifully depicting the neuronal structure of the eye.

These painting are part of the Visions art project, a collaboration between Dr. Skowronska-Krawczyk and an artist, Eva Henry. Click here to view the gallery and learn more about Visions.

Genomic Data Science courses from John’s Hopkins University on Coursera

Below are are some of the online courses our members have taken as part of the Genomic Data Science series available from John’s Hopkins University on Coursera.

Introduction to Genomic Technologies

From Coursera website: This course introduces you to the basic biology of modern genomics and the experimental tools that we use to measure it. We’ll introduce the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology and cover how next-generation sequencing can be used to measure DNA, RNA, and epigenetic patterns.

Command Line Tools For Genomic Data Science

From Coursera website: Introduces the commands that you need to manage and analyze directories, files, and large sets of genomic data.

Python For Genomic Data Science

From Coursera website: This class provides an introduction to the Python programming language and the iPython notebook.

Online Courses Discussion

Many Wet Lab members find online courses to be a useful way to expand their skills and stay up-to-date on latest scientific advances. Below is a list of courses that members are currently enrolled in or have taken in the past.

Please join our Slack channel to connect with other Wet Lab members who are involved in online course or ask questions about courses they have taken in the past.

Workshops Organizer

The Wet Lab is looking for a Workshops Organizer. As the workshops organizer you would be responsible for scheduling, coordinating, and recruiting volunteers for a series of hands-on science workshops for children and adults. Our goal is to inspire individuals of all ages to make scientific discovery a part of their everyday lives, in the same way we make art and music a part of our everyday lives.

This is an unparalleled opportunity for someone considering science outreach as a career- you will have the freedom to shape an entire program with very few limitations. However, anyone who takes over this role will inherit an extensive email list of past participants, all protocols and materials from previous workshops, and dedicated group of regulars who keep coming back to our workshops month after month.

Workshops will take place at the La Jolla Public Library and, in the future, at the Wet Lab research space. Our collaboration with the La Jolla Library is central to our mission to connect San Diego scientists with curious members of the public. In keeping with the traditional role of the public library as a venue for self-directed and open-ended inquiry, our programs are driven by the interests of the presenters and the audience. There is no need to follow a pre-defined curriculum or teach certain topics. The Wet Lab’s community of scientists  will continue to be an essential source of volunteers and ideas for our workshop series.

Please contact for more information about this position.