Wechat Subscription Account
Only lectures are not enough to advocate synthetic biology. For idea to penetrate into everyday lives, we have to immerse people in the knowledge by publishing articles every week. We chose Wechat subscription account, a platform for professionals to spread ideas, as the media to deliver our ideas to people when they are scanning daily news or replying friends’ messages. We want people to gain synthetic biological knowledge easily and delightfully.
By making full use of this account, we successfully introduce the basic concept of synthetic biology, promote iGEM competition, and present our team project. We transformed complicated biological knowledge into simpler ideas or similes. More than 350 people subscribe us and the amount of reading in nearly each article exceeds 200. Lots of students around us demonstrate their interest to us in synthetic biology after reading our articles. We felt heartily joyful when we see our articles shared by others and when many students asked us how they could join the 2017 iGEM team. This practice definitely enhances our passion for iGEM and future investigation.
We will certainly continue to publish articles in this account, and promote iGEM competition and synthetic biology.
New Team! Presentation In SIAT
(SIAT: ShenZhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
During this summer, one of our team members, Yuqiao Li, has been interning in SIAT for nearly a month. By the end of her internship, she gave a presentation on synthetic biology, iGEM competition and our team’s project. Then she explained her interesting research on iGEM teams’ choices of field for researching. After reading all 2015 teams’ wiki and team lists in recent 3 years, she got a statistic result of favored choices of teams and their changing pattern (shown below). Besides, she also expounded our team project on chronic wounds to SIAT’s researchers there. After that presentation, she conversed with the university students there, and they expressed deep interests in synthetic biology, proposing that they would like to build a new team and joined iGEM in 2017! They also expressed their will to collaborate with our team SMS_Shenzhen in 2017.
New Team! Presentation In SVMA
On Jun 14, 2016, about ten of our teammates went to Shenzhen Vanke Meisha Academy, an affiliated high school of Shenzhen Middle School. A biology teacher from the Academy led us to a school tour, and we visited their labs and biology club.
On that day, six students from the club went to their lab and held their club activity, while we discussed with them and gave them a presentation on synthetic biology and iGEM. Specifically we introduced the concept of synthetic biology first, and found that even the club members did not know about this field much. We mentioned some detailed steps of synthetic biology experiments, which raised the students’ interest a lot. Then we presented more about iGEM and our project, and invited them to also take part in this competition next time. Although the club members were not familiar with this field of knowledge, they expressed great curiosity and willingness to iGEM. We emphasized that we would like to offer help, in whether professional knowledge or experimental resources, and the biology club appreciated our hard work and stated that they would definitely learn more on synthetic biology.
Shenzhen teams meet up
To further communicate with other projects, exchange our ideas and improve our methods, we contact several teams in Shenzhen in order to hold a seminar and share opinions. On august 20, 2016, we met up with SZU-China from Shenzhen University, BGI-College from BGI to present our project and develop more. After the presentation, we each receive specific great advice on experiments from other teams on possible safety problem on projects and improvement in experiments. We also examined and discussed into bio-safety problem in biological projects and the world.
The concept of “Maker”, highly promoted and becoming increasingly popular in current society, encourages everyone to make everything everywhere. iGEM, an interdisciplinary project-oriented competition that covers the area of biology, mechanics and computer science, etc, is an exemplary implementation of “Maker” concept. Because of the bacteria’s ability of mass reproductionand the direct operation on genes, bio-hacking has great potential in the future.
However, in Maker Area, at least in Shenzhen, bio-hackers are still the minority. Most maker projects are still on mechanics such as robots and chips, and people including students and adults have barely any idea of bio-hacking. Therefore, we felt a great urgency to promote bio-hacking in Maker’s area and more importantly, among all people, to spread the idea that operating genes is as normal and accessible as using screws.
Visit to SZOIL Maker Space
To promote bio-hacking, we first went to SZOIL Maker Space to know about the nowadays situation on Maker and the specific area of bio-hacking.
Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL) is a space and platform for worldwide makers to communicate and cooperate. It is also the first Fablab authorized by MIT in Shenzhen as a research and development partner in Fab 2.0. On June 6th, 2016, three of our team members visit SZOIL Maker Space and had a long conversation with the staffs there. Huiqi Xie, the person in charge of the Maker space, led us to a tour around their working lab and had a two-hour discussion with us on Maker and especially, bio-hacking in Shenzhen. During the discussion, we found that the main problems for bio-hacking occur in the lack of mentor/lack of education, and the high cost of laboratory and materials.
We offered advice on a bio-lab they planned to build in August, and they invited us to also use the lab and help their Fablab students. After the long talk, we realized that to promote bio-hacking and let the idea penetrate into daily lives still need a long process, rather than something that could be achieved a day. To reach the purpose, we should use every possible chance to deliver the concept and our ideas to both normal people and Makers. We should also focus on educating students on bio-hacking, planting this knowledge beforehand. More importantly, Makers in Shenzhen and all over the world should collaborate together and work on promoting this idea in the society. We understood a lot of things through this important visit, and it influenced our next steps in Human Practice significantly.
Presentation in Open Fiesta Held by Qsinghua & CRI Paris
On 11th August 2016, our two team members gave a presentation on iGEM competition and our project in a Maker Innovation Program, held by Tsinghua University and CRI (The Center for Research and Interdisciplinary) Paris, for undergraduates from Chinese universities. They presented on iGEM competition and our project. They met a student there who was also doing iGEM project this year from Sichuan University. We conversed and advised on each other’s project. We also got valuable advice from Juanma Garcia, a Spanish biotech engineer based in CRI Paris and who had engaged in iGEM 2014. He advised specifically on our experiments on reaching a high efficiency of protein expression and our prototype. We were all very happy when we heard him say that he liked our project very much.
Shenzhen Maker Faire
In October 21st to 23rd 2016, the seventh Maker Faire Featured, one of the biggest maker gatherings in the world held by Chaihuo Maker Space, will be held in Shenzhen. Chaihuo Maker Space is the first Maker space in Shenzhen, and the second in China. Founded by Seeed Studio, an open hardware company in Shenzhen, China, Chaihuo is also the organizer of Maker Faire Shenzhen since 2012. Teams from all over the world will come to Shenzhen and present their projects. We considered it as a great chance to bring bio-hacking and iGEM into people’s sights. We therefore decided to attend the faire and several team members will present our poster for iGEM on the faire and introduce our project to others.Back to top
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