Team:Tongji Software/Communication

  • Questionnaire
  • Seeding Program
  • Innovation Club
  • WeChat Official Account
  • Bilibili Publicity
  • Mini Game
  • Ending Wording


We firmly believe that communication with society is the fundamental pillar of Science Communication, a way to build bridges to link science to society. Despite lots of efforts scientists and researchers have made for it, we realized there is still so much misunderstanding and knowledge gap between research community and public. As fellow researchers, we felt it our responsibility to communicate scientific knowledge related to synthetic biology and our project to the public in an easy to understand form.


Before starting the popular science education part, we made a relevant questionnaire to determine the form and audience of our communication. Our questionnaire mainly investigated the public's understanding of synthetic biology, bacteriophages and superbacteria, and further investigatd the public's attitude towards these. We collected 858 questionnaires. For details of the questionnaire results, please go to human practices.

In Q12 of Questionnaire, we can observe that although some people are unwilling to continue learning more relevant knowledge, most people prefer to continue learning. They do not tend to be too professional and have a high acceptance of video and article teaching. Therefore, in the process of popular science education, we payed more attention to the production of videos and the writing of articles. Hope to expand public cognition and provide support for the development in this field of synthetic biology.

Figure: Results of questionnaire No.10-12

Seeding Program

"Seeding Program", also named "Outstanding Pre-training Project", is a characteristic enrollment program at Tongji University. On July 3, with the help of professor Zhang and professor Leng, two iGEM teams of Tongji University (Tongji_China & Tongji_Software) participated in the "Seeding Program" of the College of Life Science and Technology, as in previous years Activity. The seeding program of Tongji University mainly targets high school students. In the previous questionnaire, our ideal audience is high school students and undergraduates. Therefore, we attach great importance to this activity. As the program named, our efforts make them interested in synthetic biology, leaving a seed in their heart.

Figure: The Seeding Program

In this activity, we introduced the basic knowledge of synthetic biology and gave some vivid examples. Such as painting with bacteria, circuit in synthetic biology, etc.

Figure: Bacterial painting

Figure: Schematic diagram of gene circuit

Since the participants of our team in this activity are bioinformatics majors, so we also introduced the application of bioinformatics in synthetic biology, such as computer-aided drug design, biosensor design and so on. Most of our listeners were first exposed to bioinformatics and synthetic biology and showed great interest.

Figure: Jun Wang was introducing bioinformatics

Then we introduced superbacteria, the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2020, the application of CRISPR system in the field of gene editing, and finally introduced our project, Phage-MAP. From the source of phage therapy, we talked about our data processing process and the final expected application effect. They said it was a new idea they had never heard before. We're glad to be able to let them know that.

Figure: Project background - the birth of superbug

In addition to systematically introducing synthetic biology and iGEM competition, considering that the students from "Seed Program" are about to enter the third year of senior high school, we shared our daily life as students of biological sciences and focus on the scientific research and learning life in the University.

Figure: We encourge students study of various skills in University

At the end of the program, the students communicated freely with us for some time. We were glad to see that those students indeed gained a lot from our introduction. We believe this communication was of great benefits for their later major selection.

Innovation Club

At the activity held by the Innovation Club of the College of Life Science and Technology, Tongji University, we introduced the application of synthetic biology in daily life and our project. Compared with the high school students in the previous Seeding Program, undergraduates have a deeper biological background, but they also found for the first time that synthetic biology has so many applications in our daily life, such as the production of food, industrial products and drugs. And that's why we want to popularize synthetic biology to them.

Figure: Introduce synthetic biology to undergraduates

In this activity, we also introduced our popular science web pages and game, which won unanimous praise. These two parts will be described in detail later.

Figure: Undergraduates were watching popular science pages and games

WeChat Official Account

The WeChat Official Account is one of the most widely used media platforms in China. We have published some articles on it for the promotion of synthetic biology, IGEM and Phage-MAP. We do our best to make our tweets easy to understand because we want them to be educational. We use many pictures and examples in our tweets so that even primary school students who know nothing about biology can know what we are doing.

Figure: Our wechat official account

Bilibili Publicity

BiliBili is a cultural community and video platform for the young generation, which has a great influence on young people in China. Many users upload their videos and communicate here. You can understand it as Chinese "YouTube". We hope that through this platform, more people can see what we are doing and will be interested in this.

Figure: Our bilibili account

In order to explore the application of CRISPR and possible problems, we discussed with other iGEM teams at the CRISPR conference held by Tianjing University. For details of the conference, please click the Crispr-related Manual.

we hope this manual can help the iGEMers in the future.

Crispr-related Manual(Only responsible for team content)

Mini Game

Guard Cell! Go! Go! Go!

In order to better popularize synthetic biology and stimulate people's interest in cell defense mechanisms. Based on the results of the initial questionnaire, we found that a considerable number of people love the form of games. Therefore, we launched our project related game: Cell Defense War. This game focuses on the defense process against pathogen invasion in micro cells, involving lysosomes, CRISPR and other defense mechanisms. Click here to start.

Figure: Cell Defense War Game

Game Video

In the previously mentioned "Innovation Club" activities, we also showed our game part, which was highly praised by everyone. In order to understand the views of students with different educational backgrounds on this game, we interviewed undergraduates from Tongji University.

Figure: Undergraduates experience the game

Some of the players also gave some advice to improve the game experience.

I hope to see more defense mechanisms. Now it seems that there are only three or four kinds. Or make more popular science knowledge into the form of games. I think it is very meaningful.

-- Haonan Wen (Bioinformatics)

You may consider the adaptation of the mobile terminal. If we can open it on the mobile phone and display it normally, it will be more convenient for popular science knowledge.

-- Feng Yang (School of Civil Engineering)

Please let me know if your game enters the app store !

-- Xujie Lin (College of Design and Creativity)

Can you tell me your project wiki? I'm beginning to be a little interested in this project.

-- Chenyu Zhang (Law Major)

We are delighted that so many people have become interested in iGEM and synthetic biology through this game. We also value every student's suggestion. In order to spread more knowledge in the game, we made the popular science webpage.

If you pass the previous CRISPR game, you will get the following tips.

Figure: Game clearance tips

There is a website mentioned in the tips. You can visit by click here.

This web page was built by Tongji_software and XJTLU-China. On this concise-layout website, we introduced synthetic biology, bacteriophages, drug-resistant bacteria and other concepts through interesting and engaging articles.

Figure: Website home page

Figure: Website overview

Ending Wording

iGEM competition is not only a grand event for global synthetic biology lovers, but also a window for the public to understand synthetic biology.

During this year's competition, we pay special attention to communication. The communication with other teams has promoted the construction of iGEM community. And, communication with the public has helped people understand the wonders of synthetic biology. All these efforts, as we said at the beginning, as fellow researchers, we believe that we have the responsibility to contact society and spread konwledge to the public. The results of our project may be unknown, but our publicity of synthetic biology will last forever and lay the seeds for more people to devote themselves to this field.


Fernandez-Rodriguez J, Moser F, Song M, Voigt CA. Engineering RGB color vision into Escherichia coli. Nat Chem Biol. 2017 Jul;13(7):706-708. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.2390. Epub 2017 May 22. PMID: 28530708.

If you have any question, please contact us.

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Tongji University, Shanghai, China

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