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UCL iGEM 2016 | BioSynthAge

Human practices: Silver

We have explored a wide range of topics that have all changed the way we think about our project. Click on the headings to find out more.

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What it is like to be 60?

For us to prevent ageing we needed to first understand the real life implications of ageing. We have been talking to elderly people who are affected by age related diseases to understand how ageing affects the ageing population first hand. Some of our team members also took part in an ageing simulation suit project, which simulated some of the physical problems experienced by elderly members of society.

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The experts

From the very beginning to the end, we have engaged with scientific and industrial experts in order to ensure that our project is addressing a genuine scientific need as defined by those who know best.

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Our survey showed that not only do people feel like they don’t know enough about synthetic biology, but they wish that they learnt synthetic biology at school. We really enjoyed reaching out to the younger and older generation through our workshops, summer schools and showcase events!

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Public Engagement + Education

Biosynthage wanted to create a project that addresses a current societal need (as described in the section above) and understand how ageing affects us in later life. We created apps, video and written blogs, organised interactive activities, attended showcase events and much more to educate the world about synthetic biology and ageing.

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Healthy ageing: Our London community

Healthy lifesyle is important to ensure that we remain healthy as we age. We have been talking to health conscious over 50s at the YMCA centre about whether they would go as far as synthetic biology to keep healthy.

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Law and Public Policy in London

If people were living healthier lives for longer, how would this impact law and public policy? Will the minimum pension age increase? Will there be a shift in the social demographics? Will this be a good thing to London and the world? We have been talking to members of parliament, London assembly member and public policy experts to explore the long term impacts of our novel technologies.

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Religion, Synthetic Biology and Ageing

We have realised that much of the elderly population is the most religious out of all age ranges. So we wanted to investigate the impact of religious perspectives on the science policy pertinent to our project (i.e. biotechnology, synthetic biology, gene therapy). Find out about what we learnt through our talks with religious members of the public, religious leaders and our round table event with religious community leaders.

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Ageing and art

We really enjoyed exploring exhibitions that celebrate old age. Find out how we have incorporated art into our human practices!

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Find out how our human practice events have changed the views of each team member from the start right to the end of our iGEM journey