Team:Macquarie Australia/Powerhouse


Designing Life with Synthetic Biology

The Powerhouse is the largest branch of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney, Australia. The Macquarie University iGEM team have an ongoing relationship with the Powerhouse Museum who have devoted a section of their rotating science collection to synthetic biology, iGEM and other related materials. These contributions have exposed large numbers of people who visit the museum annually (approximately 64,000) to synthetic biology and the important contributions that the iGEM teams have made to this novel field.

In early September the Macquarie iGEM team were lucky enough to have their associated professors Dr Natalie Curach and Professor Ian Paulsen discuss their Hydrogen synthesis project at the ‘Designing Life with Synthetic Biology’ event hosted by the Powerhouse Museum. Their project was used as an example of how design principles in combination with molecular biology techniques can be utilized to address real world problems, such as clean and renewable energy production. Dr Curach also taught the audience a bit about the iGEM competition and the contributions that iGEM researchers have made over the past thirteen years.

Synthetic biology is a novel discipline. It has also been the subject of significant misinformation and distortion within the media, and for these reasons, a significant proportion of the public hold either a severely limited or unduly negative understanding of the field.

We of the Macquarie iGEM team would like to fix this. So do Professor Paulsen and Dr Curach, and for this reason, much of their talk was aimed at improving public comprehension, encouraging enquiry, and helping foster to a more positive general perception of the discipline. iGEM maintains a rich tradition of facilitating safe and ethical research in the synthetic biology field.

Fig 1. Professor Ian Paulsen presenting an overview of Team Macquarie's iGEM project.
Fig 1. Professor Ian Paulsen presenting an overview of Team Macquarie's iGEM project.