The human practice of our team has been of ultimate success for the better part of last three months as we have excelled in as well as dedicated to the non-stop collecting of public opinion on our project, the education of Synthetic Biology to the general public, the endeavour of invoking interests in Synthetic among high school students, the collaboration with other teams and the forging of a meaningful relationship with the Fab Lab Shenzhen. Our ongoing human practice endeavour had started in early June and is still proceeding even as you read this line. The following events are some of the best out of the many.
The LIYSF 2016
The LIYSF, full name London International Youth Science Fair was held in London during the Summer holiday during which students from Britain and all over the world participated to present their advanced science project of immense diversity. Among them, our delegate, Danny, who presented the team’s project in the science fair before distributing questionnaires on the public’s opinion. Wearing our team’s T-shirt, Danny presented our well-written well-composed posters to the other intelligent young men and women in the fair. This event raised the scale of our project from within China to, boldly speaking, the world.
The London International Youth Science Forum Science Bazaar gives participants the opportunity to to share their research with students from all over the world, and to talk to experts about the projects they have completed prior to attending LIYSF. This year, over 140 of the 500 participants in the forum presented their research covering a wide range of topics. These topics ranged from hologram development, sodium chloride solution to absorb indoor formaldehyde, vaccinating teenage boys with the HPV vaccine, and using sniffer dogs to detect the presence of red palm weevil, just to name a few.
As one of the representatives from China, I present my topic on ‘ Paper-based Cell-free system For Comprehensive Testing’. This is our iGEM group project and we have work on this for a few month. The idea is to produce a test paper system that can be used to detect and measure the concentration of small biological molecules i.e glucose, that can be then used in further analysis. Where the innovation is we are trying to build a re-programmable and open-sourcing systems, that simply every biologist can get use to it quickly.
I am so glad to be a participant in LIYSF 2016 Science Bazaar, where different, innovative and exciting ideas get opportunities to be spread and exchanged. I met a guy from University of Oxford who brought his group’s iGEM project to the bazaar, where we get a chance to communicate and know each other. Now we are friends on Facebook and we do talk synthetic biology a lot. There are also many other brilliant projects that not necessarily related to synthetic biology. One I remembered was about ‘sewage treatment’, the participants from Indonesia were trying to design an algae that had been modified to purify sewage. Another one is about ‘reinvented fans’. It is absolutely fabulous to see peers from 75 different countries bringing their projects, and some of them might be the ‘sleeping dragon’ that one day will wake up and change the world!
The BGIC Summer camp
Starting from late May, we, the BGIC, had set ﬁve summer camp sessions on Synthetic Biology, each of length one week during which the basis of Synthetic Biology was taught to high school students of moderate knowledge in this ﬁeld. Apart from theory, wet lab training was also in the session, including basic laboratory skills in terms of super clean bench operations and all the other basic techniques in a Synthetic Biology laboratory. During this process, the attenders of the camp were given a basic knowledge of Synthetic Biology as a whole, and were taught basic wet lab techniques. These invoked their interest in the subject and one of them, Michael Lu, out of outstanding performance, was invited into our team and contributed immensely afterwards.
Collaboration with Shenzhen University and Shenzhen Middle School
Joint hands with the Shenzhen Middle school, we had accomplished—— The Fab 12 Fair During the prestigious Fab 12 Fair in August 2016, we had the privilege of encountering an inspiring model, the Foldscope. This paper-built microscope has the cost below 1$ and has reasonable resolution as a light microscope. This inspired us in a ways that once our biological chip is into the market, we could propose a batch-selling with the fold scope and have users observe the results of the test papers through the foldscope. In this way, the unit cost of each piece of test paper may be reduced as we can reduce the size of the testing area.
Association with the Shenzhen Fab Lab
On 5th September, 2016, our team had a meeting with the Fab Lab of Shenzhen, with these young men and women who ran the workshop represented the elite of thousands of makers, we forged an invaluable alliance. We had a thorough discussion on the essence and current process of our project, and they proposed to contribute to the mass production of our Biology Chip once it reaches its commercial maturity, with a production line set up, and is proved to be applicable to everyday life of citizens in means of its function and its sustainability. We had recognised the true value of this relationship beyond tangible capital or advanced equipments and valued the common commitment of us and the Fab Lab team members: to make this world a better place.
Lecture on Synthetic Biology in Shenzhen College of International Education
On 15th September, 2016, our team produced a phenomenal lecture at Shenzhen College of International Education on the basic principles of Synthetic Biology and our project. A considerable size of audience was present and many of them stayed afterwards for comprehensive further discussion.