1. Team of inheritance
To arouse people’s attention to our project and awareness of the now-happening problem of poultry feather waste, our team Feather Tamer has arranged and conducted several activities that communicate with people in real life. In detail, we have handed out the questionnaire we designed to people around us, and also interviewed the technical adviser of a chicken manufacturing company in China. Moreover, we have implemented speeches to our fellow classmates to introduce our project and planned the following speech to another iGEM team in China.
Guangdong Experimental High School's iGEM team has recruited students from the experimental high school ranged from 10th grade to 11th grade, all inherited with wisdom and precious experience from pioneer iGEMers in Guangdong Experimental High School’s team. To build up the popularity and impact of our team, we have put up posters and organized a special club to promulgate competition of iGEM and basic biology related knowledge in our school. Turned out a considerable amount of our fellow classmates are fascinated by the innovative topics in our previous teams’ projects and the synthetic biology knowledge.
We also chose an auspicious day to interview a technical adviser of a prodigious chicken manufacturing company called Jiangsu Huashi Agricultural Group Co., Ltd. in China. In the interview, we have inquired several questions about the manufacturing condition in the company, including the specified method the company apply to deal with the feather waste, where will the feather go after being processed, and what kinds of feeds will the company use and where are they from. We also asked about the company’s attitude towards transgenic feeds and our project, which we introduced as employing genetic engineering and microbial means to degrade feathers. The expert claimed that their company’s service includes from raising of chicken, poultry to the killing and selling of them; the company is also in charge of purchasing chicken’s feed and caring for their fitness and health, which the expert later mentioned that they have to consider the nutrition value, richness, and balance for the feeds of chicken. Moreover, the expert, after fully comprehended what we meant for our project’s introduction, revealed that their methods to process feather waste into animal feed are still flawed as their methods still showed environment hostile and low animal digestion rate.
We recommended our innovative approach to degrade feathers with microbial methods and use the product from the degradation of feathers to make fodder for chicken, and the adviser considered it a feasible solution and approved our concept; she also held bright prospect about our project and the development of its relevant technologies: “I’m sure that one day this innovation can be truly put into the application of chicken manufacturing industries after enough research and technical development”. From our communication, we have gained support from the adviser who advocates our idea and hopes our project to be put into real-life practice.
3. Propaganda Speech
To make our project closer to the public, our team held a public speech to introduce ourselves as well as our result. We created an online meeting room at Tencent Meeting( An app that allows people to have online meetings ) and invited interested friends to participate in this meeting by posting our invitation and poster on the internet. We prepared a PowerPoint to illustrate our project effectively and set up some links that our spectators can engage in to make sure every participant in this meeting could understand our project. More importantly, we tried to make each link funny, since we believe that is the key to earn the love from masses. We always adhere to the principle of letting people learn synthetic biology knowledge happily and choose three speakers from the team to describe our team's struggle experience along the way. After returning to school in September, we also held another lecture to show our latest progress and basic information to freshmen. Among all lectures we have held, we got many compliments and suggestions, so we will adjust our speech every time.
4. Survey on "feather processing technology"
Knowing the real ideas of people is necessary for us to further develop our project. This drove us to design a questionnaire, which was posted on the internet. We insist on the principle of Randomly Assignment, everyone in the internet can participate in this survey activity without any limitations. We finally receive 1536 responses aged from 16~65 from all over the walks.
Here are what we found:
-Most people are not familiar with feather processing.
-Most people get confused about the differences between various types of methods used to process feather.
-A small amount of people have heard of the concept of microbial fermentation, but not professional. And most of them have similar work experience related to biochemistry.
-Many people concern the environmental friendliness and safety of microbial fermentation.
-After introducing basic knowledge and background of our project, half of the participants can understand it.
Among these respondents, 7.6% of respondents have been engaged in agriculture, forestry, fishery, and animal husbandry industries (above figure).In addition, female people account for the highest proportion with 66.7% and male people make up 33.3%.
Furthermore, we also analyzed people's level of education participate in our survey.Undergraduate people accounted for 44.3%, which is higher than other kinds of people.High school people occupied 39.6% and graduate people was 9.6%, which all were higher than people in middle and primary schools.
From the survey, we also found most people are not familiar with feather processing (above figure).There were just 31.5% of people have learned about some feather processing method. In addition, there were just 5.7% of people have knowen about FDB method-- Microbe Degradation method.
Furthermore, we also inquiried people’s attitude about our project. After introducing basic knowledge and background of our project, most participants took positive attitude.
High cost 15.58%
Be harmful to health 72.40%
Break the zoological balance 71.75%
Ethical issues 26.30%
Biochemical weapons 20.13%
From this, we not only obtained the information that what extent people understand our topic, but also widely spread our project. We got to know the concerns of the masses about our project, and based on these concerns, we modulated the content of our lectures. Fortunately, the situation changed after our lectures’ holding.
We purchased small gift that are related to our topic to assist promulgation of our project. For example, we purchased feather pens, feather bookmarks to give out in our in-school speech activity to invite attention from our fellow classmates and even teachers. To design more beautiful and inventive products, our whole team gathered the information about feather designing we searched by the internet and held a conference to discuss the shape, cost, even mass of our products. After achieving accord of the final version, we immediately contacted a local company that could produce our ideal products. Later, we gave students who had participated in our offline activity a gift(peripheral products of our project like feather pens, bookmarks, etc.) to encourage their enthusiasm. With these peripheral products as accessories, our speech has appealed a large amount of fans to join other related activities. This indicates that we have succeeded in designing products and publicity effect, and our team believes these products help to spread ideas of our project and iGEM. Some recipients of our gifts directly showed their love for our project, and are willing to participate in our following series of activities. It turns out that peripheral products played an instrumental role in promulgating our project and ideas within, which encouraged us to keep trying on designing new products.
Our team aspires to broadcast our project to the masses in an interesting way so that more people might be attracted by our video, and our goal is that everyone can understand our project can be achieved. Bilibili, the biggest video platform in China, became our first choice for selecting our publishing channel. We made three videos in form of Chinese people's preferences and published them on Bilibili. For these three videos, five selected members of our team set up a video group for discussing videos only. One dedicated for scene, one for background music, one for dubbing, and two for script. We have held countless meetings so that we could communicate with each other and share ideas. After one month’s working, our efforts finally came out a ideal result. These videos have attracted a large number of people and many people have become our videos’ loyal audience, who help us spread our project. Moreover, one of our goals to spread these videos is to train more players so that we get more people participating in next year’s iGEM competition.Available link for the first video Available link for the second video Available link for the third video
Learning of Gene Group knowledge
During the summer vacation, our team visited a Lingzhi(Ganodorma Lucidum) production company with our PI professor Jin. In the beginning, Professor Jin gave us a lecture about synthetic biology, genetic engineering and frontiers of biology. These concepts shed the light of our project, paving the way for our theory learning. Besides, he discussed some ethical problem--- academic reliability---with us and gave us famous example of academic fraud. This remind us to be loyal to the experiment and result in future work.
After the lecture, the principal of the company leads us to the production line of Lingzhi. We first visited the indoor cultivation room. We were impressed by the system of their cultivation. The rooms can flexibly adjust their temperature and moisture to satisfy the requirement of Lingzhi in several phases: Young Lingzhi are typically lived in high moisture while the older ones are adapted to relatively less moisture environment. Then, we shifted our attention to out-door cultivation. Besides Lingzhi, this company also grew other crops, medicinal plants and fruits. Most of them were cultivated in shelter, where the temperature, illumination, and moisture were strictly controlled to provide the perfect environment for growth.
Besides cultivation site, we also visited a Lingzhi Museum. In the museum, the stuffs showed the history of growing Lingzhi. In the museum, there’s a very big Lingzhi that have been cultivated for many years, which really impresses us. The stuffs also showed the environment benefit and economical benefit brought by Lingzhi, as well as the fact that Lingzhi can maintain our health as a medicine food.
After all, the touring to the company is really meaningful as it not only make us acquire synthetic biology knowledge, but also show the implementation of biology knowledge.