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A session on synthetic biology
In August of 2017, we went to Vana Vani School, IIT Madras to interact with 11th-grade biology students. Our session aimed at introducing synthetic biology to the students in a way by which they can relate to. We drew an analogy between gene editing and a cassette, with the tape wound, containing a song, is the gene. This made the visualization easy for the students. We also discussed the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology. After this, we talked about our project by drawing simple analogies. It was a fun filled session, with the students eager to talk and interact. It was an enriching experience for us as a team, to talk with young enthusiastic people interested in biology.
A student community
To create and invigorate enthusiasm for synthetic biology in the incoming freshmen, we initiated a student community called GeneSys. Throughout the August-November ‘17 semester, we’ve met multiple times, nearly once a week, to discuss the basics of synthetic biology and the other prerequisites to good synthetic biology practices. Further, into the next semester, we hope to brainstorm and come up with ideas that can be taken up as projects by the community and take up active research, however small it may be. Also, Genesys has also acted as an initiation into iGEM for the freshmen.