People all over the world today tend to lose interest in science, so we think that this tendency disturb progress of synthetic biology. For example, ordinary people seem to think recombinant DNA technologies, which are the basis of synthetic biology as unpleasant. In this way, they do not fully understand what recombinant DNA technologies are, and they still hesitate to buy and eat GM foods. These problems seem to be faced in the world when recombinant DNA technologies will be developed and used in many fields. We want a lot of people to know not only in Japan but also in the world, so we try these things as Human Practice.

At the open campus (2012/08/10,11)

We prepared a booth to introduce iGEM in KIT Open Campus and explained our activity of iGEM to a visitor.
To make the presentation simple, we tried to avoid using technical terms.
Besides, we displayed model organisms used in genetics, such as fruit-fly Drosophila melamogaster, baker's yeast Saccharomyces cereviciae, and colon bacterium Eschericia coli. Students could see Drosophila mutants. And we displayed "E.Coli Pen" and some pictures drawn with it.
We aimed to make their understanding clear, and make them feel familiar to genetic engineering.



Because we wanted to know what kind of image does a thousand and more people of the age to reach the elderly from a high school student have to recombinant DNA technologies, Drosophila melanogaster and Leukemia which we use in Drosophila melanogaster Workshop. For this purpose, we KIT-Kyoto sent out questionnaire survey to them in cooperation with team Osaka and Ehime-Japan. We collected answers from not only students major in biology but also in chemistry, information technology, mechanical engeneering and art in college, in addition to the attendee to the college's open day or people at facebook. Therefore, we could get various ways of thinking to synthetic biology, regardless of their age, job or majors in college.

You can see our questionnaire here.
Also, this is the result.

The result says, 97% of people feel Drosophila as dirty, 81% feel as harmful. What does this mean? A lot of people confuse Drosophila and fly. Fly you find in your house is harmful, however, Drosophila can be used for gene therapy. So, it is very useful for us to study.
Also, we asked about the therapy of leukemia. From the result of this survey, we found that people wants to use inexpensive and recurrence preventing drugs.

Introduction of the class of Bioart (2012/09/19-21)

In our college KIT, bioart was firstly introduced as a lecture with practical course called‘Fusion of Science and Art Ⅰ using our project two years ago, E. coli pen in last year. Undergraduate students who major not only biology but also various fields of science can take the lecture.
Students learned the mechanism that the ink of E. coli pen emits fluorescence and drew paintings on agar plates using E. coli inks. And they gave a presentation on their concept of bioart.
Furthermore, the bioart described in E.coli Pen is carried by the textbook of the high school student.



According to the questionnaire, which we conducted, people think that genetic engineering has risk for environment and humans, and these are very complicated. And, they think Drosophila melanogaster, which we used in our experiments, is a harmful insect. In order to change the idea, we made a movie, which explains genetic engineering, and shows the significant usefulness of Drosophila melanogaster. This movie includes the scene of our lab work. By watching this movie, many people can get a correct knowledge of genetic engineering and Drosophila melanogaster, and change the idea. We hope people in the world would be interested in “science”.