Public Engagement

Biotechnological High School Albstadt-Ebingen and Abi Startschuss 2017

Human practices is a big part of iGEM. Our mission is to explain people what we want to reach with our project and what synthetic biology actually means. A lot of people are still afraid when they hear about genetic engineering and genetically modified products, due to unlucky inccidences that are related to this topic. By spreading out our knowledge we want to make sure that people get educated in this field to build up their opinion without prejudices in the future. As we know that education starts with young people and the next generations will be responsible for our future we aimed to go to schools and education exhibitions to start with our outreach work here. For this we are going to visit the Biotechnological Gymnasium (High School) Albstadt and the Abi-Startschuss Messe in Stuttgart. Our focus is to explain kids what synthetic biology provides for the future and how many interesting and diverse career opportunities they are in this field. We want to explain about iGEM the competition itself and the chance what it means to work as a team on a completely autonomous scientific project.

Lab Supply Exhibition 2017 in Münster

We also realized that outreach goes hand in hand with our fundraising work. To convince people to sponsor our project we have to indicate the people and explain them why it would be worth it to finance the eco-friendly tube cleaner. Therefore we made a big tour from south to north Germany and visited the Lab Supply Exhibition 2017 in Münster. Four of our team got familiar with the different exhibitors that participated at this day. It was a great exchange of knowledge as we not only got the chance to introduce our project to the different companies, but also to get informed what is recently on the market to equip a good laboratory. It was the first time for us to get the chance to visit Münster and we were happy to get a sneak peak of the city after a successful outreach day.

SynBioDay 2017 in Düsseldorf

During the last few month we realized that outreach work is not only important but also gives you great opportunity to make collaborations, to interact with different experst and to collect new ideas and trouble shooting solutions. The iGEM Team Cologne-Düsseldorf invited us and other iGEM Teams to the SynBioDay 2017 in Düsseldorf. Once again we crossed Germany improving our driving and navigating skills and were welcomed by a highly motivated team that organized this open day for the public and for experts. We can’t explain how happy we were to participate at this day. We go a whole bunch of knowledge from other iGEM Teams that introduced their projects, but also heard many interesting talks from experts that introduced different topics of Synthetic Biology. After a very informative day, a filled stomach and fully loaded brain we ended the day with a very interesting discussion about the ethics of genetic engineering and Synthetic Biology. Here experts and non-experts could explain and exchange their point of views. Thank you iGEM Team Köln/Düsseldorf – it was a blast!

Article: Labexchange supports young scientists

12th september 2017

The Labexchange Foundation supports students in the development of an ecofriendly tube cleaner. In the name of the Labexchange Foundation, Dr. Wolfgang Kuster handed out a Stratagene Robocycler 96 as a donation to the iGEM-project team at the University of Stuttgart. “If Labexchange would sponsor this device to us, it would be pretty awesome and a huge relief to our team!”, Georg Singer (iGEM) in his message to Labexchange. Georg is one of a group of ten people at the University of Stuttgart asking for support in the participation in the biggest international competition of biotechnology for students. The “international genetically engineered machine”-competition (iGEM) unites and facilitates interdisciplinary areas of synthetic biology, bioinformatics and system’s biology and was set up at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in 2004. This year a team of the University of Stuttgart is participating for the first time. To work on their project “LIGHT UP THE PIPE” the Labexchange Foundation sponsored a PCR cycler (Stratagene Robocycler 96) amounting to 1.250,00 €.

The handing over took place at the University of Stuttgart where the team also introduced itself to Dr. Wolfgang Kuster. The students work on the development of a biological tube cleaner, based on the use of enzymes. Their tube cleaner aims to be more ecofriendly than the usual chemical cleaning agents. The project focusses on the degradation of waste containing keratin, like hair and leavings of soap and fat in the tube system. The students want to create a biobrick containing keratinases, lipases and esterases in combination to degrade these contaminations and wastes in a biotechnological way. To improve the protection of the environment the students put a lot of ambition into their research project of public utility. For Labexchange Foundation it is an explicit request to support innovative ideas considering ecological and sustainable aspects. For german version and original article click here .