Team:UC Davis/Human Practices


Team:UC Davis -

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Educational Outreach

As part of our project, we felt that educating younger students in the field of synthetic biology and sparking their interest in iGEM would be an important human practice advance. We sought to do this by creating a lesson plan for middle school students that can be found here. By learning a basic foundation of synthetic biology, we believe that it will provide an opportunity for them to think, use, and apply what they have learned now to something more complex that they might do in the future. Synthetic biology is not commonly taught in middle schools but is a field that we feel can be introduced in earlier grade levels. Its abstraction of genetics into basic parts is something that can be easily grasped by students of a younger age. We feel that it is vital to educate people about the significance of the field and introduce them to what can be accomplished with it. The first step in doing so is by educating younger generations with the basic principles.

In this lesson plan we incorporate many parts that are not only common to synthetic biology but have even been utilized in our project. Promoters such as pBAD, LacI and parts such as GFP and RFP are some of the most useful and common, used in both the lesson plan and our project. Much of the basic knowledge shown in the lesson plan provided much of the basis of our own project as well. Conclusively we believe that the human practice in educating younger students is key to the advancement of all fields including synthetic biology.
As with all aspects of human practice, safety is an important concern where we need to take precautions in order to be successful. We have also outlined a safety page about our own project’s facets, which can be found here.

We also provided the local high school, Davis Senior High, with media, plates, and other lab materials to conduct biology lessons.

Economic Toolkit

When we initially decided to pursue a project in plastic degradation, there was an immediate connection made to the importance of the economic viability of such a project, if we wanted to accurately consider this as a potential solution to the ecological problem familiar to many.

A few team members branched out and are currently pursuing the Entrepreneurial component to the iGEM competition, instituted this year. We constructed this toolkit as a deliverable resource to future iGEM teams, with a goal of informing other teams of the economic opportunity that many of these novel and innovative solutions provide.

The Economic Toolkit can be downloaded by clicking here.

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