Communicating science to the public is not an easy task; sometimes, we need to adjust how we deliver our research to various audiences. We also need to understand what benefit the audience will receive from the systems and technology we bring. Therefore, Human Practices became an indispensable part of our project, which acts as a bridge between researchers and general audience or even experts in different fields.
By closely collaborating with professionals and profoundly investigating the potential consumers' demands, we ensure our product development is beneficial to our community. We constructed a framework for our human practice project that can be categorized into two main parts: business promotion and education. We reached out to several experts to optimize our product and constructed our business model while considering intellectual property, laws, and regulations for business promotion. To mature our designs, we turned to doctors, researchers, and experts in product development for advice.
The educational section was a collective set targeting several audiences to spread information about synthetic biology. We attempted to discover multiple approaches and viable options to promote our products and collect feedback from our audiences.
Before we are able to get started on developing our idea into a product, we need to make sure that our idea is as close to perfect as possible, and that means tons of research and experiments. But, the real problem with many ideas, and perhaps the reason why many fail to become a success, is a lack of expertise. No matter how much time and effort we put into research, there will always be an expert who knows the topic or even industry much better than we do. So, to help further verify and improve our ideas, we visited several experts in different fields.
Dr. Po-See Chen 5/28
Director, Division of General Psychiatry, National Cheng Kung University Hospital
Professor, Institute of Behavioral Medicine, National Cheng Kung University
We met with Dr. Po-See Chen online to obtain further knowledge about depression. He provided us with valuable insight and information regarding the characteristics of depression and the relation of depression with the gut. We met him during the early stages of our project, and he gave us a lot of valuable advice regarding the behavior of patients, such as self-diagnosis which is very dangerous among people who suffer from depression. By conducting this meeting, we can understand more regarding the nature of depression to continue with our project. He also gave advice regarding our education activities, encouraging us to better spread awareness regarding depression, which you can find in our education page.
Professor Yu-Cheng Lin
Professor, Department of Engineering Science, National Cheng Kung University
Our first hardware idea was to detect human stress levels through saliva, we planned to extract cortisol which is the biomarker of stress, by detecting cortisol levels throughout a couple of days, we will be able to determine someone’s depression level. We made several discussions with professor Yu-Cheng Lin due to the fact that he has the real experience of extracting the different substances from saliva and detect the concentration of several substances through the paper-based electrochemical device. We wanted to continue and make this concept a reality, but suddenly covid-19 strikes Taiwan, so we were not able to go into any lab and we finally suspend the idea then search for another alternative.
Professor Chung-Hsien Wu
Professor, Department of Computer Science, National Cheng Kung University
Due to the fact that covid-19 in Taiwan escalated very quickly, we were thinking to find another way to build something even that we are not present physically. Then, we had an idea to made an artificial intelligence that can automatically detect depression using sound, and because none of our team members is from the Department of computer science we asked for guidance from Prof. Chung-Hsien Wu in developing the artificial intelligence.
Professor Chien-Hsiang Chang
Professor, Department of chemical engineering, National Cheng Kung University
Before settling with our current procedure of manufacturing Menbels, we wanted to make sure that our procedure and knowledge are sufficient for us to meet the requirements and make our system feasible to work. And professor Chien-Hsiang Chang has experience in making alginate layers to wrap several substances, Prof. Chang also ensures us that our plan is feasible and isn’t very hard to perform.
Just because an idea is good does not always mean it will sell well in the market. Our product may be designed and modified in the laboratory and adjusted to maximize its performance. However, we needed advice from potential stakeholders to ensure our product will meet real-world demands. We need to interact with industries to understand more about the industrial environment and current market situation. So, in order to refine our idea into a product suitable for the market, we visited several enterprises.
Trade Wind Biotech
Trade Wind Biotech (TWBIO) is a pioneer company based in Taiwan that implements synthetic biology as its core technique. We were allowed to visit their factory and laboratory led by Dr Lance, the CEO of TWBIO. We also invited team CCU_Taiwan to join us on this trip, and both of our teams received a lot of feedback from Dr Lance regarding entrepreneurship and presentation skills.
Chen En Food Product Enterprise Co., Ltd
Our team was honoured to interview the general manager of Chen En Food Product Enterprise, Mr Vincent, as Chen En is one of the largest bubble suppliers in both local and global markets. Before the online interview session began, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with them. As a giant bubble supplier, they provided advice on preparing our bubble with the engineered bacteria inside. In addition, they also gave us valuable market data to further our business model.
8D Tea Fresh Kitchen
We visited a local handmade bubble tea shop in Nantou and their IoT live kitchen to learn more about bubble production and marketing. They also suggested we market our product as chilled ready-to-eat (RTE) food, allowing us to position it in the market correctly. We also witnessed how they made bubbles from scratch and learned of the sterilization and bubble heating process. For more details, please click on the file below!
2021 NCKU iGEM Survey
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are becoming more prevalent in our society due to their wide range of potential applications. Although more research has been conducted regarding the safety of GMOs, many still believe that GMOs are not safe, and it remains to be a controversial topic among society.
To better understand how the public perceives GMOs and mental health issues, we conducted an online survey. Through the survey, we were able to collect hundreds of respondents’ opinions along with their feedback on our project.
73.3% of our respondents were young adults aged between 18-29 years old, education levels between highschool to university.
As we mentioned above, we wanted to collect the public’s views on mental health issues. Therefore, we divided the respondents into those who have suffered from depression and those who have not. For those who have experienced depressive symptoms, we asked more follow-up questions. 54.5% answered that the primary cause of their depression is stress. Apart from this, we also asked about their opinions about the current solution to depression. The answers were relatively evenly distributed, with concerns about side effects, low effectiveness, and price.
One step forward bringing MenTAUR into a reality.Read More
Working together with other iGEM teams across the world.Read More
The key to understand the public through communication and education.Read More