Team:UniSalento Lecce/Human Practices


Human Practices

Team presentation seminar

We thought to share and spread our experience through our University. We organized a seminar for the students from the faculties of Biological Sciences, Biotechnologies and Environmental Sciences, where we talked about iGEM, Synthetic biology and Our project.

We also found interesting to interview some students from previous years' edition, and to broadcast the interviews during the seminar.
Here the video (subbed in italian) :

We must thank Lisa Oberding, from Calgary 2012 team, Yuta Otsuka from UT-Tokyo 2012 team and Luciano Morosi from Buenos Aires 2012 team for their contribution! Thank you guys!

Networking and Outreach

  • Our enterprise as igemmers captured the attention of local media, to read the full article click here.
  • We are among the founders of BioBANG, Biotechnologies Association for the Next Generation, a new born association aiming to promote the interaction between academic world and biotech enterprises.
  • The Bio part of our Team has been invited to take part to Playdecide ( to discuss about Orphan Drugs and Staminal Cells, an event organized for the European Biotech Week.
  • We tried to finance our project with Microryza here the link to our project.

Synthetic Biology: a survey

To analyze how much synthetic biology, its applications and its ethical implications are known in our academic world, we decided to submit a short survey. We submitted it to professors, researchers, doctoral students and non graduate students. Here the survey and the results.

"Let me now comment on the question "what next". Up to now we are working on the descriptive phase of molecular biology.[...] But the real challenge will start when we enter the synthetic biology phase of research in our field. We will then devise new control elements and add these new modules to the existing genomes or build up wholly new genomes. This would be a field with the unlimited expansion potential and hardly any limitations to building "new better control circuits" and [...] finally other "synthetic" organisms, like a "new better mouse".[...] I am not concerned that we will run out of exciting and novel ideas, [...] in the synthetic biology, in general."

W. Szybalski

A) Did you know the term Synthetic Biology (as an evolution of the concept of Genetic Engineering)?

1. I know it and i know about its applications.
2. I have some ideas, but not so clear.
3. I never heard about it.

B) Given the possibility to engineer an organism to perform a given function in a controlled way, which perspectives can be profiled, in your opinion?

1. I have great expectations for applications in Human health.
2. I think that this kind of research will never come out of laboratories.
3. I think it may profile scenarios of genetic pollution.
4. I have no idea.

C) “Everything you can imagine, Nature has already created”, quoting A. Einstein. You think that:

1. Researchers are arrogant when they think of improving nature.
2. It is important that science could take advantage of theoretical knowledge for applicative uses.
3. The efforts of research could never overcome the efficiency of natural systems.
4. I have no interest in these implications.

D) In which field you think that Synthetic Biology may have better applications?

1. Environmental (e.g. Bioremediation, Biosensors)
2. Biomedical (e.g. New Therapies, Diagnostics)
3. Food and Agriculture (e.g. Product improvement, Toxicology)
4. Energetic (e.g. Renewable resources, Improved biomass)

Single categories: the answers!

Conclusions: Thank to our survey we can conclude that in our academic world, people of different categories know about Synthetic Biology and its applications, though a lot of people only have some unclear ideas about this discipline. Most of them have great expectations for its applications in Human health and they think that it is important that science could take advantage of theoretical knowledge for applicative uses. For the people of our University Synthetic Biology may have better applications in the Environmental field (e.g. Bioremediation, Biosensors) and in the Biomedical field (e.g. New Therapies, Diagnostics). We hope that our iGEM experience could help researchers and students focus on this growing research field.

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