Curiosity needs to be aroused from an early age. With this idea in mind, the Bordeaux iGEM team intervened in a 2nd Grade class at Saint-Bruno school. The aim was to plant an idea of the DNA concept in little scientific minds. Since it is a complex and abstract topic for many people, we chose to use a comparison with letters which constitute words and can tell a story. To concretize this notion, we performed a DNA extraction on bananas alongside with the students. At the close of the meeting, students came away more curious and with many interesting questions and the desire to do the experience again.
Curiosity is contagious so on friday the 13th of october, the Igem team of bordeaux participated at the Day of Science at the European Institute for Chemistry and Biology. There, we explained the major concepts about DNA to student from 10 to 15 years old. DNA extraction from red fruit and banana and lego construction of an helical double stranded DNA allowed us to show them what DNA is and how the cell can use it to encode every protein it needs. As the CE1 student before, some ideas germ in their head like a mutation can be positive (like for ninja turtle) or negative (disease). The most important thing is they had a lot of question and curiosity about the importance of DNA.
In March 2017, a student association in Biologie from Bordeaux, the AEBBCB, invited us to talk about synthetic biology in the context of the IGEM Competition. It was an opportunity to talk about IGEM in front of students in biological fields and teachers. We talked about the great IGEM adventure and all the opportunities we can meet through it. Students were interested by the fact that such projects can be created worldwide.
This year, we were invited to the 9th Bordeaux RNA Club Symposium. We had the opportunity to meet european researchers studying RNA from a genetic and bioinformatic point of view. We could also confront ourselves to critics of professionals that could help us to think about the approach of our project. It was the first time we were presenting our first poster. The conferences were focused on molecular biology but each researcher used to study different model organism, such as bacteria, yeasts and Arabodpsis thaliana, so we could compare them to the C.elegans. At the end of the symposium, we organised a public session about CRIDSPR-Cas9, a famous gene editing tool able to cut the DNA. This tool is very famous among scientists in biology, however it is not well known by a larger public. This is why we organised this public session around the popularization of CRISPR Cas9. During this public session, we also invited a researcher in ethics in order to discuss about the perspectives of this tool.