This year our team focused on completing several human practices initiatives. By delving into both the environmental aspects, and the business realm of the project, we worked to gain a complete understanding of the implications of our project. As well, through participating in an online scientific journal, we gained feedback from experts and scholars, which helped improve our scientific writing skills.
One of the means of communication is scientific writing. To practice this, we contributed to an online journal called Biotreks. Biotreks is a journal that publishes design articles on synthetic biology written by high school groups. We wrote a design paper about our project, SynthetINK called "Synthetic Ink: using synthetic biology techniques to produce biological pigments in Escherichia coli"and received two awards from writing it, “Best in Education and Best Visual Communication.” It will be published in the fall of 2017. Judges and other students were also able to give us feedback, allowing us to improve the article and the overall project design. Writing a scientific paper has helped us gain a clearer understanding of our project so we can adequately plan experiments for the future.
To investigate the viability of a product like our own in the massive ink industry, we have conducted interviews such as the Greg Vilk interview or the interview with Dave Warwick. Also, we have created a simple business plan to outline business elements such as some marketing techniques, licensing plans and details for up scaling. This plan is a large piece of our research into the potential viability of turning this product into a business. We concluded that it would be very difficult to compete with other ink products if we were to take that course, given the condition of the market today. In the future, we feel that a product such as our own would do significantly better in the business world, as the global energy market begins to turn away from a non-renewable source such as petroleum, and embrace more sustainable methods of energy generation.
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