Team:Hong Kong HKUST/jelek


Hong Kong


We thought safe application was a very important aspect of our project because we thought that in the future our project will probably be directly applied on humans. We tried to incorporate a foreign inducible metabolism into human liver cells; therefore we had to consider safe application to eliminate possible complication that our project could cause. We have approached this aspect by meeting two prominent scientists in Hong Kong society who are currently actively participating in scientific and medical research. They helped us to realistically view our project in their point of view and to think about the possible concerns that can arise if we try to transform our project into a product. With the experts, we have discussed mainly three matters: application of our project, biosafety & bio-ethical issues concerning our project, synthetic biology in Hong Kong and in Asia in general.

Synbio Map

SynBio Map identifies and locates companies, universities, research institutions, laboratories and other centers across the globe that are active in the synthetic biology research ("Synthetic biology project:," ). It is a good tool to compare the trend of synthetic biology all round the world. This map was created by the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In this map, 5 entries are located in Hong Kong. Two of them are in the University of Hong Kong and two are in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, while the remaining one is a private company.

Participation in the iGEM Competition

The concept of synthetic biology is not prevalent in Hong Kong and in Asia. We thought it was imperative to provide information to the public. We tried to achieve this by making short informative yet interesting videos and an interactive blog that introduce synthetic biology and our project. We have included Cantonese to our work so that the public in Hong Kong can easily digest the information. While we were gathering information about synthetic biology. We observed inadequacy in the amount of information of synthetic biology in Asia. To amend this problem, we have researched information about synthetic biology in different languages such as English, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Indonesian. We have complied information of synthetic biology in four East Asian countries/regions and one South East Asian country. We believe that this novel approach will help the reader to have more holistic and unbiased view of synthetic biology all around the world. We also had time to share our experience and thoughts to various different people through presentations. We already had a semi-formal meeting with SUSTC and CUHK iGEM teams. We have also prepared three more presentations, two for HKUST students, and one for the general public in Hong Kong.