We’ve done a lot of practices in Engagement, including field investigation, education, consulting and special work.

For the purpose of sparking new scientific curiosity and establishing a public dialogue about synthetic biology outside the lab. We supported education of science at Elementary School; set up an Academic Salon; gave a lecture of our project introduction to students and held a biological competitive game“Running Bio-man”.

In field investigation, we went to pesticides plant and made a survey among the peasants to know pesticides situation. Meanwhile, through conferences and communications, we got useful feedback to improve our project design.

Notablely, we did a special work to reflect the situation and problems of iGEM teams in China.

  • Survey on Xinghua fertilizer plant

    Oct 3 ~ Oct 5

  • Field investigation in Xinghua fertilizer plant

    For the purpose of grasping current market conditions of pesticides, we visited Xinghua industry, a manufacturing plant dedicated to producing agricultural fertilizer, pesticides and some other industrial chemicals. We consulted the agricultural service bureau in Wugong district and the pesticide dealer in Chengguan district and obtained precious information like the application range, price and sales of agricultural pesticides as well as the local weeds distribution.

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    Investigation of the current situation in fertilizer plant

    Nowadays, Herbicides can be used not only for crops, but also for weeding the lawn in horticulture.

    For the purpose of investigating current market conditions of pesticides, we visited Xinghua industry, a manufacturing plant dedicated to producing agricultural fertilizer, pesticides and some other industrial chemicals.

    As is widely acknowledged that glyphosate is the most common-used pesticides at present in China, which is recognized as a product with good effect, low cost and less harm. But contaminant such as ammonia will be created in productive process. Also, glyphosate has a strong pungent odor which is still strong after being diluted 30 times. And when it contacts with skin, it can easily cause skin allergic redness and swelling during the spraying.

    We also consulted the agricultural service bureau in Wugong and the pesticide dealer in Chengguan. Therefore, we have obtained precious information about the application range, price and sales of agricultural herbicides as well as the local weeds distribution

    Setaria viridis are most widely distributed which posses a fairly short growth cycle and the largest occupation in the cropland.

    Meanwhile, we have bought some herbicides and have studied how to use them through hands-on experience.

    Reture Overview
  • Suvery among peasants

    Oct 5 ~ Oct 7

  • A survey among peasants

    On October 5th to 7th, to gain some physical experience of how farmers diligently do farming, to set better modeling for the weeds distribution in the field, and to obtain some inspirations for our project and our design, we have acknowledged the current condition of most farmers and their farming lands as well as how they use those common pesticides like glysphosate through the field investigation. The field investigation was conducted by one of team members through face-to-face interviews with most peasants and personal experience of utilizing pesticides and fertilizers.

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    physical experience \( \longrightarrow \) our design

    As our project is primarily designed a novel pesticide instead of the chemical ones to better peasants’ farming environment and their farming experience, and gradually improve the overall Chinese natural environment, it is rather necessary for us to know farmers’ farming strategy in detail, such as how they get rid of those annoying weeds, how they apply fertilizers and pesticides to plants. To make the best effect, our team member has successfully borrowed those farming equipment from one farmer temporarily and truly felt that there were still a lot of work we can do to make it a better place for peasants.

    1. During the field investigation, our team member have found that some weeds could still grow somewhere in the farming lands although there had already been applied chemical herbicide in the first place. To get rid of those newly-grown weeds, farmers couldn’t spray glysphosate any more in that glysphosate is a kind of nonselective herbicide which might kill other crops. Therefore, farmers needed to pull up weeds by themselves. The period is rather time-costing and labor-costing. To help farmers improve their farming environment, we possess a strong desire to design a bio-herbicide with higher selectivity so that they can apply herbicides whenever they need to.

    2. When our team member did field investigation, most farmers were still utilizing their own simple plastic device to spray herbicide on the farming land. Simply, there are two disadvantages brought by this method. Firstly, this method is extremely inefficient for application of herbicide, because the limited strength of senior farmers. Secondly, this kind of method may lead to the uneven application of herbicide, therefore, in some area where the herbicide concentration is rather low, there may still grow many weeds. Meanwhile, in the area where the herbicide concentration is high, it may result in compaction of the soil and unforeseeable damage to plants which will be grown on the same region in the future. So in our device designing period, we have taken this into consideration so that we have projected a novel device which can supply our bio-herbicide directly to roots of our plants so that no bio-herbicide will be spoiled, and the distribution of it is rather even.

    survey \( \longrightarrow \) model

    One of our modeling is set to estimate the amount of weeds in a certain region and weeds’ distribution. To fit most closely to the reality, before we started modeling, our team member had conducted the field survey to acknowledge the mean number of weeds in a certain area. By making several quadrats in the field, our team member count weeds in every quadrat to obtain the first-hand information. And these data is incorporated into our modeling through our chosen method and formula.

    Reture Overview