iGEM 2021 - Jianhua

Science Communication

After our survey and interviews in human practice part, we learned that a great proportion of people have little or none knowledge about genetic modification or the transgenic technology. More commonly, people especially the elderly would fear and reject transgenetic foods or genetically modified products. Additionally, some high school students may have studied the basics of synthesis biology, but don't know how to put into practice. Therefore, we planned and conducted four event as science communications and education, including a workshop, a lecture about our project and iGEM, an education program regarding the elderly, and a science popularization to high school students. Another event collaborating with BHSF-China is also on progress. The detailed information and record of these events are presented here.

On July 13th, we launched a small work shop inside our school to introduce the knowledge about slime molds and how to paint with bacteria to our grade students. After the introduction, the students experienced the plate marking method or the dilution coating plate method of growing bacteria or painting with colorful bacteria. We were there to help them. This is our first education event.


On September 28th, we practices an education to grade 9-10 students in the International Department of our school. The event took place at 7pm. This event is planned a long time ago. Prior to the date, we promote this event by putting up posters and giving out post cards. As a result, all G9 and G10 students came.

This education resembles a lecture, or a science popularization program. The aim of this event was to educate high-school students with basic synthesis biology concept and gene techniques. The slide used is presented below. (Click on to show)


Since iGEM is carried out in English, we managed to use English as much as we can, and some Chinese annotation where needed. The procedure of the event is as the followings: First, we briefly introduce the competition of iGEM, basically what iGEM is. Then, we presented our project: Using Saccharmyces Cerevisiae to produce HMO 2-FL, including how we proposed to implement this, and the procedure in which the result will be eventually obtained. At this point, our audiences would be thinking of how a high school student do all this? So the next part was to introduce them the method of genetic modification, including fundamental techniques, like PCR, electrophoresis, and DNA sequencing using our project as a paradigm. At last, we introduced how the competition works, and the procedure from choosing a project, to presenting your work on a wiki. We recorded this event by photographs.

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The event had an echo. During the lecture, everyone paid attention to our project and us. And as the event was at the end, everyone had a positive feedback, and about a quarter of the students were interested in attending iGEM 2022, which indicates a huge success of this education program.

In addition, since Jiongye Ren is in another city, Tianjin, we converted this distance to an advantage, he also carried out a lecture in the high school he is currently in.

Jiongye Ren in front of his classmates


According to results from interviews regarding synthesis biology production and genetic modification, elderly people seem to have the most prejudice, that a relatively great number of them consider genetic modified product as unsafe, or hazardous product that would do harm to human body. The fact, though, is apparently not the same.

From what we learn from this result, we learned the necessity of educating the elderly about synthesis biology and de-stigmatize transgenetic foods. (Another event held for this reason is still in plan, please see the Educating in Community part.)This is carried out by attending a education program held by BNU-China, and also serve as a part of collaboration. The certificates are presented below.

Mengfei Guo

Xintong Li

Jinzhou Wu

In this program, every team members introduced at least five elder people, whether they’re in the family or from the street, about what actually is synthesis biology and transgenetic technology. Video records, photos and certificates are presented below.

After this program, most elderly people who received education from us couple back that they are now aware of the benefit and safe guarantee of these products. Despite this program could only involve a relatively small number of people, this is very meaningful as we believe a small water drop would start a huge echo.

Manda and his mother

Xintong Li


Besides the lecture, we also introduced our project to students who are not from the International Department. We passed out post cards for promotion, and introduce them one to one.

We also designed poster and post card to promote our project in the campus, as well as to promote our education program.


Post card - Front

Post card - Back


Additionally, we are now planning a education program in local communities with BHSF, who likewise are doing a genetically modified production project, to de-stigmatize transgenic technology and synthesis biology, as in the interviews we carried out in the Human Practice part we learned that many, especially the elderly, are still worrying about the safety and other unnecessary concerns in terms of biological synthesized products or genetically modified foods. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the time limit we now are still high school students, this event is still on paper. But we have found a location and a corporation who are willing to host this event.