Team:UM Macau/Human Practices



In order to promote our project to people of all ages, we have participated in and organized various events. In the early stage, we released questionnaires to the Internet, publicized our project to people of all ages, and collected their opinions. The collected results also helped shape our whole project. We wrote a business proposal to help the subsequent development of our project by analyzing the data. For younger children, we participated in the activity of making picture books organized by team NNU_China to inform them about biology with easy-to-understand drawings. Due to the outbreak of the epidemic in Macau, the popular science lectures scheduled in Macau local high schools in October was taken place by brochures. We hope to let local high school students in Macau be aware of how harmful gout and oxidation are. Hopefully, their families can benefit from this activity. For our peers, we held an activity to design the logo for the improved beer in our university, so that our peers could understand the effect of our project on beer improvement. The collected logos would also be used for our products. In addition, we invited iGEM teams all over the world to provide photos of snacks that they would like to have with beer and made a picture album. This activity not only made us connected but also showed the food culture in different regions.

We got suggestions from many different stakeholders to improve our project in the future. Raising questions about Macao's future economic development trend and the development prospects of the food processing industry, in the process of interviewing the director of Macau DSEDT, we gained a lot of valuable suggestions.What’s more, we had a close connection with Macau’s local Funny Eye Brewing. They provided us with valuable experience in actual production, which we can’t gain in the laboratory, and made our project practical. Our project, if successful, will help them solve practical problems.

Diagram of our integrated human practice (Click to get the full image)

On October 16, 2021, The Economic and Technological Development Bureau (DSEDT) director Dai Jinyip was interviewed by two members of our team in his office (International Bank building, No. 1-3, Dr. Pedro José Lobo street, South Bay). DSEDT is a public department of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) responsible for studying, coordinating, and implementing the economic policies and technological development policies of the MSAR. Our expected product is a beer brewed by genetically modified yeast, which is currently in the development stage. We want to transfer our research results to industrial production in the future.

Our question focused on discussing the matters that should be paid attention to in the transformation of research into industry. Director. Dai’s answer included several aspects, such as industry standards, patent layout, and public acceptance. First, we should have a comprehensive understanding of the general industry standards, and then establish our own standards on the basis of it to maintain the high quality of our product. In addition, we should also learn about food safety laws in different places, especially the control of genetically modified food. Secondly, we should also pay attention to patent applications in the process of transformation. Understand our target market as early as possible to establish the patent layout, that we will have a timely assurance for the technology we developed. Before entering the market, we should also consider the consumers’ attitude from the perspective of sociology, including their acceptance of GMO food and consumption concept of targeted emerging products. Finally, Director. Dai reminded us that we should think of why branded brewers such as Budweiser and Tsingtao are not currently using genetic modification to improve the quality of beer.

Director. Dai’s suggestion provided us with an effective reference for our future transformation to the industry.

Photo taken after the interview

Our Wet Lab members visited Macao Funny Eye Brewing several times to discuss practical issues related to beer oxidation with brewery technicians. Breweries have provided us with samples of beer with oxidation problems that they have kept, and through testing these samples with actual production problems, we have a deeper understanding of beer oxidation.

Photo of beer in the Funny Eye Brewing

Members of our IT department also visited Funny Eye Brewing. Under the introduction of the technician, the team visited equipment in the beer production process closely and understood the working principle of these equipment and their role in the beer production process. Discussions with the technical staff corrected some of the team's misconceptions in the early stages of the modeling work. For example, in the early stages of modeling the team's idea was to build a model that predicted the distribution of yeast in the fermenter. However, in the actual production, the yeast will go through a continuous stirring process after being put into the fermenter, so the establishment of such a model can not play a good auxiliary role in the actual production. In the end, our model was designed to predict the shelf life of beer, which was inspired by discussions with brewery technicians

IT members visiting local brewing

For our human practice work, during the design procedure of the questionnaire, we actively referred to the suggestions of Funny Eye Brewing. At the beginning of the design, we communicate with winery representatives to understand the information they want to collect, so as to design our questionnaire. After the questionnaire is designed, we send the sample to them for pre-filling, and then revise it repeatedly until we are both satisfied.

We designed a consumer-oriented questionnaire in the early stage, the purpose is to get consumer preferences through the previous survey. Can further help us determine the direction of genetic changes.

Our questionnaire design includes the following aspects: age group, do you like to drink beer, how often you drink beer, select beer focus (taste, taste, price, packaging, brand), whether you understand the harm of alcohol to the human body.

After preliminary understanding, we found that most people do not understand gene editing, but they are willing to try our products. After the completion of the questionnaire statistics, the data is analyzed and the interview materials are combined. Based on the above, we wrote a business plan proposal. The proposal is mainly about connecting consumers with new products, and providing guidance for our future development.

Please click the link to see the complete proposal

Below are some screenshots of the survey results

Figure 1. 18-25 years old account for the majority

Figure 2. Willing to accept improved products for health

Figure 3. Willing to accept improved products for price

We participated in the children's picture book production activity initiated by NNU_China. The teams involved are FZU_China, LZU_China, NMU_China, NUDT_China, NWU_China, Wordshaper-Nanjing. Each team made picture books about their projects. Our picture book aims to educate children about synthetic biology and the use of genetically modified yeast in our lives. The picture books of other teams are also beautiful in style and rich in meaning. All our picture books are gathered together and finally form this complete picture book, which is the result of the joint efforts of all teams. We hope to popularize synthetic biology and other related biological knowledge to children through this picture book and stimulate their curiosity about biology and interest in synthetic biology. Hopefully, there will be audiences of our picture books who will become iGEMer in the future!

Click the cover to get the whole picture book

Due to the impact of the epidemic in Macau, all primary and secondary schools and universities have changed to online teaching. We feel that online lectures may not achieve the purpose of popularizing science, so we have made an electronic brochure, which is not only environmentally friendly but also can be disseminated easily and rapidly.

The brochure is mainly composed of three parts. First of all, we introduced gout, including its causes and preventive measures. Then we presented what is food oxidation, the harm of food oxidation, and relevant measures. Finally, we briefly talked about the project in progress by our team, how to improve the oxidation problem of beer storage and reduce the pathogenic factors of gout during fermentation. After the manual is completed, it was uploaded to all our public accounts. We also send it to local secondary schools in Macau to let students know relevant knowledge.

Click the cover to get the whole brochure

We want to further develop this kind of beer in the future, we may continue to produce and sell it. In order to have a unique logo and better publicize it, we hold an activity to collect logos that fit our theme. This activity began on September 13th.

After we started the activity, lots of students joined it and as a result, we received many splendid logo designs. We chose six of them to promote the improved beer because they are more suitable for our theme and they are also very beautiful. Take the first logo, for example, the wine glass is the main part, DNA, grain, and our mascot BADY are all around it. This logo better expresses our team’s work that we use genetically engineered yeast to reduce purine levels in beer and increase its antioxidant capacity. For the last one, the entire logo looks like an egg about to break. Golden yellow symbolizes the light of success, and the black and lines in the middle are cracks in the eggshell. This implies that the project is about to break out of its shell and achieve success.

The poster involved

The works of logo we received

To know more about the beer culture of other countries and in the case of the Covid-19 outbreak spreading around the world, we invite other iGEM teams to share the beer culture of their countries via email. After our invitation, we received a lot of replies from our cooperation teams. Most of them introduce their accompanying beer snack to us with pictures. Then we collected some pictures which they sent to us to make a lovely accompanying beer snack poster collection.

We are here to express our sincere thanks to our cooperation teams. Cheers!

Click the cover to get the whole album



iGEM 2021 UM_Macau