As we think iGEM can be enjoyed by everyone, we designed our three-part human practice project, which is consists of the tale, the synbio chess game, and plenty of activities and outreaches.

The Tale of Ghost and Elf, written by our team member Xiaoyue Yang, is a supplement of the masterpiece The Little Prince. It is a fantasy, as on the planet Ecoli, the Little Prince happens to meet a girl named Summer. They come across a catastrophic pollution of atrazine, but fortunately Summer is a scientist, and she creates the Ghost Sensor and the Atrazine Seek & Destroy system to defeat the herbicides.

The story is well plotted and illustrated that we think it a work of art. Throughout our survey and outreach, we realize that synthetic biology is a science that is rather far from our common life. Thus we want to make it easier to see and touch with the use of art. Since the tale is suitable for all ages, synthetic biology can be more acceptable by the public.

The Synbio Chess Game, designed by Xihan Li, is a special board game for synthetic biology. The route on the gameboard are molecules: DNA helix, mRNA and polypeptide linking one by one, with function units like enhancer, descriptions like methyl, and typical structures like the stem-loop structure. It is a vivid illustration of the central dogma and other molecular facts of synthetic biology. The rules and other details are available on the chess game page.

The activities, survey and outreach we carried out this year are various. This is a timeline showing what we’ve experienced since the formation of our team. In early April, we joined Zhejiang Museum of Science and Technology and to hold a booth at the Science Fair. At the same time, we carried out a survey on synthetic biology. Later Dr. Yuhua Hu from University of Edinburgh visited our lab and shared the experiences of Synthetic Biology Society of their college with Synthetic Biology Club of ours. In May, team NJU-China visited our lab and we shared each other’s project. In August, we were invited by NCTU_Formosa and visited Taiwan to meet 7 iGEM teams from 6 universities. During the summer vacation, we held the Qiushi Summer Camp with College of Life Sciences, where 72 high school students from all around China joined the camp.

We gave lectures of iGEM to the pre-undergraduates, and guide them to do some real lab work including PCR. In September, as we were working really hard on our project, we also did some interviews with companies that produce herbicides. We did it both online and offline. For the online track, we interviewed big companies like Bayer and Dows via email. For the offline track, we visited three local companies and interviewed their managers of sales departments and R&D departments. We think that our interviews are really important because we want to know the approaches and strategies of turning our devices in lab into products in the market. The experiences and results benefit not only our team, but also the whole iGEM community.

Refer to these links:

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