Team:SCAU-China/Integrated Practices


Our human practices involve in several aspects including biosafety, social activity and public education. Our aSTARice is a genetically-modified organism, (GMO), so our work focuses on promotion of the knowledge for GMO and survey on people's concern about GMO.
1. Public
Our public activity was the main body of our human practices, so we made a lot efforts on it. As we all know, genetical modification is now a critical technology, which is misunderstood by many people. Because our astaxanthin rice is basically a kind of transgenic product, it's our duty to do some efforts to help the society to form a correct understanding of this technology.
Part I: Self-improvement
First of all, we should make sure that we ourselves have correct understanding on this question. For this reason, we took part in a great lecture about transgenic.


Keynote speaker of this lecture includes Jianping Kou,who is director of the Department of “genetically modified organisms safety management and Intellectual Property Office” from “Department of Science, Technology and Education” in MOA(Minstry of Agriculture) of China, and Min Lin, who is director of Institute of Biotechnology of CAAS (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences).


In this lecture, we got to know that transgenic foods, that are saleing in market are absolutely safe. For they were tested by associated departments and labs for many years in scientific ways. And up to now,there are only a few kinds of transgenic products have gotten permission into Chinese market. After lecture, we communicated with these scientists about new technologies on transgenic research.


Apart from that, we've also took part in a talk given by Yongning Wu, who is the director of "Key Laboratory of Food Safety Risk Assessment, Ministry of Health", which belongs to China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA). In this talk, we obtained a lot of informations in analysing GMO.

As we are working to create a new kind of crop, we think we should also know more about agriculture, so we joined in The Sixth Asian Conference on Precision Agriculture as volunteers.
Part II: Investigation
We hoped our human practice work can influence more ordinary people. So, above all, we should realize other people's opinions to transgenic food. Because of that,we made a questionnaire about GMO.

The datas we’ve obtained in questionnaire sre showing below:

The respondents' proportion of men and women are approximately balanced. The number of age groups which between 18 and 25 is the majority. What's more, the respondents have a Bachelor degree or higher degree.
The main content
Question 4: Do you know what is Genetically modification (gm)?

Analysis of the Q4: 4/5 of the respondents have a certain understanding for "GM technology",1/5 respondents don’t understand this technology or even don’t know. This suggests that the "GM technology" was received by the majority of respondents.

Question 6:Will you eat gm food?

Analysis: About a third of the people can accept genetically modified (gm) food. 17% of people determined not to eat genetically modified food. Suggest that the public acceptance for genetically modified foods is improving.

Question 11: Is genetically modified products (gm) beneficial or harmful in your opinion?

Analysis: Most people had skeptical attitudes to genetically modification (gm). For respondents, genetically modification is an emerging technology. The public don’t understand enough about genetically modified crops, so they cannot hold a certain attitude to it.

Question 12 :Will you use gm products (non-food)?
Question13: Have you ever heard of skin care product that contains astaxanthin?


Question 14: Will you choose skin care product or health food contains astaxanthin (gm) ?
If new genetically modified foods were put into market, about half of people can fully accept. While the acceptance of gm products (non-food) is even higher. However, our public do not know much about astaxanthin product at present, So we should Enlarge the propaganda.
Part III: Spread knowledge to our society
1. Writing GMO handbook
writing GMO handbook After participating in several lectures and talks, we learnt a lot. So we wrote a handbook about genetically modified organism (GMO) as a summary, which contains our answers to many questions. We can use this as educational and popularizational material. The list below is content of our handbook.

the chapter of popular science
1.What do you eat
1. Brief introduction to genetically modified food that you eat
2. A reasonable concern——glyphosate
3. Better gm products
2.Pathological obsession——Opposition to genetically modified
1.‘They’ want to confuse you
2. The preliminary victory——Papaya
3. Organic food is not more secure
4. Being hated humanitarian projects——Golden rice

the chapter of Genetically modified knowledge
1.Basic knowledge of genetically modified
1.What is genetically modified
2.What's the relationship between genetic and biological traits
3.What is a genetically modified technology and products
2.The characteristics of the genetically modified technology
1.What is the commonly used genetically modified (gm) technology
2.What similarities and differences between transgenic technology and the traditional breeding
3.What are genetically modified (gm) technology applications
3.The development of genetically modified
1.How is Genetically modified that produce and develop?
2.What are genetically modified research direction in the global
3.What is the matter of the industrialization of the genetically modified organisms
4.Genetically modified technology development present situation

the chapter of Safety regulation
1.Genetically modified product safety
1.what aspects that Genetically modified product safety involves
2.What's the argument about Genetically modified product safety?
3.How to evaluate the safety of genetically modified products
4.Can we detect genetically modified ingredients
5.What are genetically modified organisms test method
2.Genetically modified regulatory policy
1. How to regulate genetically modified (gm) technology and its products

the chapter of SCAU-CHINA team
1.What is iGEM?
2.Who is SCAU-CHINA team?
3.What is the project of SCAU-CHINA?
2.SCAU-CHINA team’s Project results——Astaxanthin rice
1.the introduction of Technical principle
2.Technology application

2.2 Bauhinia Festival on Science and Culture
In our university, the annual Bauhinia Festival of Science, Technology and Culture is a great activity, thousands of citizens in Guangzhou gather together in SCAU to enjoy the beautiful flower of bauhinia and new research in our university. This year, we seized this opportunity and showed interesting biology to many visitors, mostly young persons and children. We showed microscope and tissue culture technology. We made some beautiful postcards about SCAU or iGEM. We brought some books and brochures about some laws and funny things about GMO. For example, sweet potato has some DNA originating from Agrobacterium, which means they are natural transgenic in the world.
Our work turned out to be a great success. The most famous newspaper in our city--Guangzhou Daily interviewed our team leader and reported us with a brief introduction of our project and this activity. SCAU newspaper and SCAU Official WeChat also highlighted our activities.

2.3 Education
Our education included spreading scientific knowledge to the kids and farmers in the countrysides and giving courses for high school students.

2.4 Spread scientific knowledge to countrysides
Our country is a developing country and those people in countrysides can hardly get as much information and knowledge as those in cities. So we decided to do more efforts to spread our knowledge to farmers and students in countrysides. We sent our educational handbooks to farmers and rural schools in Qingyuan, Shaoguan, Maoming and Zhaoqing of Guangdong province.
The handbooks contain lots of information about modern methods of cultivating the local specialty crops, including protocol of cultivating watermelon and papaya fruit in modern way. It's possible that we can help some people in countryside who are eager to get more information on agriculture, and they might generally accept modern agriculture or even GMO crops.

Our teammates gave basic and funny biology courses in primary schools in countrysides. Our lessons may influence their lives and change their fate.

2.5 Giving courses for high school students
We also gave courses for high school students of Guangzhou NO.47 Middle School, Guangdong experimental High School and Guangdong Guangya High School. Our courses mainly focused on the advance research in biological areas in these years, especially synthetic biology. We've also introduced iGEM to them and showed them how to take part in iGEM as a high school student. After that, we also built up a good relationship with a high school group from Guangdong experimental High School and Guangdong Guangya High School.

According to the feedback, the students have a better understanding of biology after our lessons. It's quite a good experience to communicate with middle school students and teach them what we've obtained in taking iGEM competition and doing biological research.
Part Ⅳ: Entrepreneurship
The ultimate goal of projects in iGEM is to serve the public. As our project is just about the research of application-oriented biosynthesis, we are encouraged by our teacher, to transform our product of item into something useful to the public society. Therefore, we conduct the analysis of our "aSTARice" in the perspective of entrepreneurship.

You can click here to know more about our entrepreneurship and see the pictures of our gallery!entrepreneurship and see the pictures of our gallery!