Team:TEC GenetiX CCM/HP/Silver

iGem Tec CCM/Home

Silver medal requirements:

From the very beginning of our project we knew that it had the potential to cause a significant impact in many different areas. We identified a very specific opportunity in our country, because the compounds we will be attacking with our project are not regulated at all in Mexico. Therefore, we thought about our project as a way to implement a certification, available to bottlers nationwide, that would assure customers that their bottles were free of phthalates, PCB, PBDE, and BPA. We believe this would be one of the most useful applications of our project because it tackles a health issue, that is the quantity of people affected by these toxins, and it also handles the economic side of the plastic industry, in which plasticizers and flame retardants play a huge role. Our project would improve public health if implemented in this way because the amount of toxins ingested daily by an average person would decrease if the water they drink is mostly clean from these hazardous chemicals. It would also have an economic impact on bottlers, because if they are not interested in certifying their bottles, customers will believe they are not giving them quality products or being socially responsible, so their prices would fall. It would also have an environmental impact, because if bottled water consumption was reduced even for a little while, that would mean that the quantity of plastic produced in Mexico would decrease, which would help our environment, especially in Mexico City where overcrowding has led to loitering being a common practice amongst people. Another of our aims at Human Practices was to fight against the lack of information regarding the topic in the country, and to help with this objective we talked to middle school kids and showed them how to do biodegradable plastics, and creating a social media campaign that people could see easily and would catch their attention. These are the reasons behind our decisions when determining what events we would carry out and how we led our wet lab project. For example, the fact that the bacteria are inside alginate pearls makes it easier to do the certification process. Furthermore, every single event we carried out had to do with one of our main human practices objectives, which are raising awareness among people, showing science’s ability to improve people’s lives and causing an impact in our society. All of these events and the way we identified, investigated and implemented the situations around our context into our laboratory practice and iGem project in general can be found in the respective Human Practices sections