(Difference between revisions)
Line 32: Line 32:
</html> [[File:Ucalgary TEDxCalgary.jpg|742px|centre]]<html>

Revision as of 02:40, 24 October 2012

Hello! iGEM Calgary's wiki functions best with Javascript enabled, especially for mobile devices. We recommend that you enable Javascript on your device for the best wiki-viewing experience. Thanks!


This year our team had the opportunity to partner with TedxCalgary in developing a Ted talk which we will be presenting on October 13th in Calgary. We think this will be a great opportunity to present to not only our city, but also a part of a larger, international event (City 2.0). We had a lot of fun thinking about synthetic biology and our project and the best way to share that in a relevant and meaningful way.

City 2.0

Our talk will be part of the City 2.0 event. It is an award winning event that will occur concurrentlly in over 40 cities around the world on October 13th. This event is inspired by many ideas around building better cities, but is trying to move on to the next step: taking action. The themes involve Art, Food, Education, Public Space, Health and more! The ultimate goal is to create the city of the future “inclusive, innovative, healthy, soulful, and thriving!”

UofC City 2.0 Picture.png

"Ideas Worth Sharing"

In accordance with Ted’s mandate, we needed an idea worth spreading. We had a lot of ideas about our project, the iGEM competition and synthetic biology in general. The hard part was coming up with the right theme for our presentation; one that would resonate with the general public both within and outside Alberta. One of the reasons we chose the project that we did is that it is something important to Alberta but that can also have implications around the globe – environment and energy. There are obvious implications of our project for the oil sands in Alberta, but also to a broader audience in terms of environmental remediation. This was clearly an important theme to us. We felt that the fact that the bacteria we are designing can not only remediate wastes, but can convert them into reusable fuels was particularly important. Every day, the landfills around the world have been growing incessantly. Communicating the potential for applying synthetic biology to clean or recycle the wastes and reclaim these lands would be an interesting focus. What is more exciting is the potential that this gives to maintain a self-sustainable environment using this technology. Instead of relying on the city for energy and waste processing, we could use synthetic biology to generate our own energy from waste products.

UofC CiTYPicture.png

Outside of the environmental implications of our project, open source was also an interesting theme as it is a major underlying premise of both synthetic biology and iGEM in general. The open access nature coupled with the drive for abstraction in synthetic biology make it something with huge potential for participation, something missing from other scientific fields. The amount of knowledge required to master biology is immense, but building systems with standard parts is not so hard. Just take a look at the things coming out of iGEM each year and you’ll understand. Undergraduates on small budgets can accomplish quite a lot in a summer! This idea of democratizing science was thus another angle worth exploring.

The theme we chose to go with was merging these two. We wanted to emphasize the potential synthetic biology could have in remediation, while showing that this technology can be used by many, allowing people to actively participate in science and synthetic biology, and in turn help improve the environment. Through our TED talk, we want to emphasize the democratization of science and generate new discussions and ideas for improving our health and our cities’ health through better environment, raising more questions on how to build a self-sustainable city!

Check it out!

Find our talk after the Regional Jamboree at TEDxCalgary website.

Ucalgary TEDxCalgary.jpg