Garden party for introduction of synbio to the public
We, together with SYSU-CHINA, held a parade in the campus to introduce synthetic biology to the public. Our
audiences were all enthusiastic, including not only students from life sciences and many other majors, but teachers of
different backgrounds. Also, some residents and tourists showed an enormous interest in our garden party. This time,
we divided our parade into 2 parts. First, you could splice a fundamental Circuit Project in the “Splice a Circuit” part.
What you need to do is to put the genetic parts in the right orders to complete a circuit. By using the electronic bricks
to symbolize the different parts in synbio, we managed to introduce the four fundamental parts to the public by visual-
ized approaches. If a circuit is completed correctly, a light bulb which symbolizing a certain functional CDS would be
lightened. By turning the microcosmic process into the visible and operable way, we successfully attracted many partici-
pants to get involved in our game, especially some kids and teenagers who got the pure pleasure of scientific research.
“This is absolutely the most exciting game I’ve ever played. “It inspires me to take more time in biology study as a stu-
dent of senior high”, said by one student.
As to the second part “Design a Circuit”, you must use the synbio knowledge you’ve already learned in the first
game and your imagination to design a much more complicated circuit. Made up of more than twenty biobricks and re-
lated to Toggle Switch, the circuit was so hard that even some of our team members were stumped. However, to our
surprise, some participants did finish the circuit with least effort, including a pupil. During this garden party, we’ve seen
more and more Chinese teenagers devoting themselves in the joy of life sciences, and our team will try our best to
make contributions to spreading this joy to the public without any doubt.
Biological Contest in Modeling
As a good instance in the collaboration between outstanding universities in Guangdong Province, the “Bio-5-Talk” is
a series of activities which really make difference in developing communications among college students in Guangdong.
The highlight during “Bio-5-Talk” is absolutely the Biological Contest in Modeling. This year the annual party attracted
15 teams. By using fruits, styrofoam and other materials which are common in daily life, the participants are asked to
make a fabricated eukaryotic cell by hand. Our team used toothpicks to imitate the cytoskeleton together with plasti-
cine as the organelles, making a patterned and simple eukaryotic cell. We managed to use the cell model to illustrate
the basic process of transcription and translation, together with the knowledge of synbio to the other teams. At the
same time, we surely made some other participants interested in synthetic biology.
Even in Biology Festival we used toy electronic components symbolizing the genetic circuits, some participants also
felt confused about synthetic systems and their function in reality because electric circuits also had slight differences
from genetic circuit. Thus we decided to develop a video game in which genetic circuits coming from real projects and
their parts are shown as those in SBOLv.
Then Genexplorer came into being, in which the player can built a circuit following the order of parts shown in the
game, and all circuits were retrieved from eminent projects in previous competition. Target players of this game is
people who have not ever learned synthetic biology but have interests in it.
We have promoter this to other iGEM teams, and the public in CCiC and High School Summer Camp, where
the attending students and teams showed great interest in this simple and enjoyable game. With their suggestions, we
developed a hard mode later. For more details or if you want to download this game, please click the link.
We are SYSU-Software. We are very grateful for everyone's hard work.
Introduction, Sharing and Discussion
Presentation for High School Summer Camp
During the summer vacation, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University held a Summer Camp for high school
students in China, introducing biology related researches and activities to them. SYSU-Software also grasped this op-
portunity and attended to this camp, presenting an one-hour introduction about synthetic biology and iGEM competi-
tion to them.
Considering what they have learnt in senior high school, we organized our presentation as a small lecture, from
DNA, RNA sequence and genetic engineering to the principles and target strata in synthetic biology. Our presentation
explained three main factors that led to success in synthetic biology: standardization, decoupling and abstraction. We
emphasized the importance of standardization, which enabled the biologists to create circuits having specific functions
with “Bio-bricks” like building constructions with bricks. This principle was also most familiar with these students be-
cause they had learnt something about genetic biology, and noticed the deficiencies in digested operation if restriction.
sites unspecific between gene parts. Although the other two principles, decoupling and abstraction, was hard to image
their roles in synthetic biology for these students, we believed their main idea would help students when they had to
face some complex problems in the future.
We also introduced the target strata in synthetic biology, including sequence, part, device and system. From se-
quence to higher stratum, we thoroughly explained how a intact synthetic system form, and mentioned standardization
again. At last, we presented a brief introduction on iGEM competition, including its history, tracks and awards. We also
introduced the software track and what we have done in this track.
After the presentation, many students showed their interests in synthetic biology and iGEM. One of them even said
that he was excited because he had played LEGO for years but had never imaged functions in creatures can be built
like the toy bricks, and he wanted to know more about synthetic biology and iGEM.
Mini lecture to 2016 freshmen
We presented a mini lecture for 2016 freshmen shortly after the start of the new semester, in which we introduced
iGEM competition, synthetic biology, our team project as well as our Human Practice activities, especially the game
Genexplorer. We exemplified GFP to illustrate four basic elements in synthetic biology and how they work in real bac-
After the lecture, with the freshmen, we also discussed the biosafety and ethics problems that brought from syn-
thetic biology. The freshmen raised some problems that our project should concern or may ignore.