We set out to create a podcast where we could help spread the word about synthetic biology. Having come into the iGEM competition with limited idea of the depth of synthetic biology ourselves we thought it was important to showcase this exciting field to encourage more young researchers to pursue careers in synthetic biology and create conversations around topics such as genetic engineering and sustainability. We distributed the podcast via leading podcast platforms and reached over 200 listeners.
In our first episode of the podcast we spoke with Professor John Ward from the University College London. Our first episode aimed to introduce synthetic biology for those who may not have a strong idea what it was. The episode does this very well going into short detail about what synthetic biology is and how the field came to be.
In episode two we had the second half of our interview with Professor John Ward. In this episode we covered some exciting applications of synthetic biology.
The third episode of our podcast was a collaboration with the University of St. Andrews iGEM team. We talked to them about their project which aims to produce a sun screen which, unlike most commercial sun screens, was not harmful to coral reefs.
In episode four we talked to the iGEM team from King’s College London about their project which uses synthetic biology to help treat spinal cord injuries.
Episode 5 was with Professor Louise Horsfall who is the programme director for MSc Synthetic Biology at the University of Edinburgh. Prof. Horsfall talked to us about synthetic biology generally and more specifically about her area of research, which is obtaining metals from various feedstocks using biological organisms.
Professor Simon Turner from the University of Manchester joined us for episode 6. Prof. Turner spoke to us about plant engineering, why we would want to do it, the hurdles of public perception and biofuel production.
Dr Neil Dixon of the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology explained to us how synthetic biology can be leveraged to improve production of valuable chemicals with real world examples where this had been realised.