We have engaged in the education and communication with the general public, high school students, and the elderly community.
Physical Lecture in Taipei First Girls High School
For high schoolers, we wanted to reach out to those who are interested in biology, to provoke their interest, and to encourage their participation in scientific research. Hence, we held a physical lecture on synthetic biology for the Biology Club in Taipei First Girls High School. We shared our experiences on genetic engineering, experimental designs and iGEM participation, and broke down our project part-by-part so that it is easy for high schoolers to understand.

Most importantly, we conveyed our core message - the field of science is not something beyond our reach; rather, it is full of possibilities, eagerly awaiting passionate participants to explore.
Health Education on Facebook & Instagram
Under strict epidemic safety measures nowadays, the importance of reaching the community through social media has reached an unprecedented high. In order to educate our community about the dangers of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), thrombosis and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and to give out information on the preventions of these unwanted diseases, we have provided health education on DVT and CVDs on our Facebook and Instagram page, hashtagged “sciencefacts,” on a regular basis.

To reach a wider audience, our health education posts come in two different languages: Chinese and English. On October 13th, we celebrated the World Thrombosis Day, and arranged a series of posts illustrating the symptoms, the causes, the possible prevention methods of DVT.

Moreover, we have also promoted synthetic biology. We used the simile of LEGO bricks, which is common in everyday life, to explain the idea more clearly and to make it easier for the public to understand.
Communication with the Elderly Community
For the elderly community, we wanted to inform them of the risk of thrombosis and potentially improve the quality of life in their later years.

We have communicated with the local elderly long-term care center - “Yi-Ching Yuan,” and provided them with health education leaflets on the negative effects of DVT.
Public Survey
We cherish the voice of the public. We conducted a public survey on the use of Nattokinase, cardiovascular diseases, and the preference of capsules, and have received over 160 responses. The constitution of respondents are the following: 58.8% of male and 41.3% of female; 30% are above 40 years old. More than 78% respondents have always been in good health conditions, only 2 respondents have been diagnosed with major cardiovascular diseases.

In the survey, we asked questions related to the center of our project, and had many interesting discoveries. For instance, we noticed that most people aren’t familiar with the thrombolytic enzyme, Nattokinase[1].

And that although people nowadays are more aware of their health conditions, people who conduct self-health monitoring every 3-6 months are still the most prevalent[2].

Other than that, we also gained supportive evidence for some designs of our project, one of which being the fact that we designed for the thrombosis detection kit to take in and analyze saliva from the user, which proves to be the specimen most users would like to collect[3].

Furthermore, we wanted to learn more about people’s thoughts on health products, and were surprised when we found out that most people agree that health products are generally not limited to a certain group of people[4].

Also very interesting is the percentage of people wanting to take in Nattokinase for cardiovascular diseases prevention, which is about half the number of respondents. This indicates that there is a market for cardiovascular disease prevention, and there is a significant potential for the idea of preventive medicine to grow[5].

Chart 1. Have you ever heard of the thrombolytic effect of Nattokinase? As shown above, more than 70% respondents have never heard of it. Thus, it is important for our team to continue promoting Nattokinase through health educations.

Chart 2. How often do you conduct self-health monitoring (e.g., self-measuring blood pressure, weight, body fat, etc.)? As shown above, chosen by 42% of the respondents, the most common frequency for self-health monitoring is every 3-6 months.

Chart 3. If you were to conduct a thrombosis self-test, which kind of specimen would you prefer to collect? As shown above, compared with blood and urine, saliva was the most preferred specimen, with a chosen rate of over 85%. We speculate that the possible reason for this phenomenon might be that saliva sample is the least troublesome to collect, so that it saves the most time.

Chart 4. What do you consider health products as? As shown above, 55% perceive health products as “products for people of all ages and all health statuses in order to maintain their health.”
Chart 5. According to clinical studies, taking adequate amount of Nattokinase is beneficial to preventing thrombosis and improving cardiovascular health. After knowing this information, when would you be willing to start taking Nattokinase health products? As shown above, after learning the beneficial health functions of Nattokinase, 46% of the respondents would like to take Nattokinase health product from now on, which is a great news to our team!
Authored and maintained by Team NYCU-Taipei 2021.