-----* Inspiration and Reality *-----

Creating a brainstorm is simplified, how to put theory into practice matters more. For understanding water deposal reality socially, we visited two organizations, which both have authority background in Xiamen area.

  • Jul 1st

    First, we visited the Xiamen Yundang Sewage Treatment Plant, a company with the capacity of 300 thousand cubic meters of sewage treatment per day, to preliminarily understand today's treatment of domestic wastewater. We were shown around the whole process of sewage disposal and a variety of large-scale equipment. The technical manager told us heavy metal concentration in daily life sewage was actually very low, however, the industrial wastewater contained significantly much more ions of heavy metals, thus they normally do not need to concern about heavy metal treatment methods.

    All in all, we drew the conclusion that our target groups are those industry plants, environmental offices and citizens in water polluted areas.

  • Jul 5th

    Next, in order to further investigate the standard and commonly used methods of drinking water detection, we visited the Zenland Mineral Water Company which is located in the Wulao Mountain in Xiamen University. In the water quality monitoring laboratory, professional staff told us that the water quality inspection in China was mainly in accordance with the national standard law. Interestingly, no biological assay was applied in large scale, to this extent we believed that our inspirations would be a major innovation in water disposal industry.

-----* Laws and Relations *-----

Laws regulate the human world steadily and sustainably, without which we may fall into disorder. Thus, we have investigated heavy mental pollution in particular areas of China, and regulations referring to genetically modified organisms to see what we have already done and what we should do.

  • Jul 12th
    to Jul 24th

    The metal ions in water will change the water pH value, resulting in deterioration of water living environment. While the pollution intensity exceeds self-regulating capacity, they will eventually lead to serious due deterioration to the positive feedback regulation. The heavy-metal pollution with the characteristics of bioaccumulation, transformation process complexities as well as difficulties in forming insoluble complexes have arisen in Guangxi, Yichang, Gansu and other places in China recently.

    Additionally, China plays an increasing role in the water pollution remediation work, within domestic and international circumstances. Consequently, a series of measures for preventing and controlling industrial pollution such as "Water Pollution Prevention Action Plan" and "Water Pollution Map" have gradually been perfected.

    At the same time, we made clear requirements of the detection limits of various pollutants (See below). However, how to achieve a low cost and efficient detection of water quality is still a big challenge.

    Detection Limits of Water (partly)

    At present, the water heavy metal detection and processing method of the mainstream can be divided into physical, chemical and biological three categories, among which, the physical examination is mainly detected by different metal specific absorption spectra and emission spectra of qualitative and quantitative, and chemical detection method is the use of electrochemical method for determination of the dissolution potential quality and anode. However, due to the extremely low concentration of heavy metals in water, thus producing considerably weak signal, resulting in large errors. In addition, experimental requirements of physical and chemical determination are comparably high which means they cannot be applied to real-time detection in nature. Compared to these, biological detection had a lower threshold, with the a variety of the corresponding signal forms, can completely overcome the harsh natural conditions of field testing. The disadvantages of the traditional physical and chemical methods generally have higher cost, narrow scope, second pollution possibility. Biological treatment utilizes microorganism adsorptions, plant enrichment means which can effectively reduce the toxicity of metal ions. In addition, with the use of synthetic biology tools, engineering bacteria can better fit for heavy metal processing requirements.

    By contrast, the public still concern about the safety and ethics behind biological control, to a certain extent, prohibiting the wide development of biological technology in water treating. In the aspect of the development of synthetic biology, all countries in the world have made clear GMO Safety and management regulations. See below.

  • Jul 18th
    to Aug 9th

    Because there are many health determinant factors, including market goods and services, such as healthcare, investment time and environmental conditions, such as air pollution, environmental sanitation and water purity, Grossman put forward the model of human capital demand in 1972 healthy, healthy as a kind of capital goods for the first time, be regarded as different from other human capital "health capital". The model considers the demand for "good health" can be used to explain the supply and demand curves, and the optimal decision for health needs by wealth and survival time in the life cycle of constrained. in 1991, Grossman and Krueger first proposed the environmental Kuznets curve (referred to as EKC), to describe the relationship between economic growth and environment are analyzed, their environment and economic growth in many countries the data shows that this the relationship between emissions and economic growth of some environmental pollutants in some countries of the present an inverted U-shaped curve relationship, which is in the initial stage of economic development, economic growth will cause great damage to the environment quality, but when the per capita GDP more than a "inflection point", the economic sustainable growth will in turn promote the improvement of environmental quality.

    This year, XMU-China made a plan to investigate the relationship between environmental pollutants and economic, and finally chose the Grossman model to explore the relationship and the amount of GDP emission environment.The Grossman model (the classical economics on health demand model) was divided into three kinds of emissions of pollutants and GDP effect, which were the scale effect, structure effect and the impact of technological progress effect respectively. Fujian province (China) was selected, which maintained 12 major rivers in the province's 143 water quality evaluation. In the 143 sections of the overall water quality evaluation section, only 3 of them did not meet the water quality standard. The main items exceeding the standard was ammonia nitrogen, total phosphorus, COD, BOD five dissolved oxygen, all the statistics were from the data source for the 2016 statistical yearbook of Fujian Province, between 1996 to 2009.

    Due to the fact that the industrial solid waste and industrial smoke and per capita GDP regression failed to pass the test, therefore, the EKC test lists four other pollution emissions and per capita GDP on the table. There is no Kuznets inverted "U" curve relationship among per capita emissions of dust, per capita wastewater discharge and sulfur dioxide emissions per capita per capita GDP. And per capita industrial emissions and per capita GDP shows no Kuznets inverted "U" curve as well. Unlike the inverted U-shaped curve of developed countries and emerging countries in general, Fujian's environmental Kuznets curves are two positive type u or ∽ type. The Fujian pollutant emissions in 1990s were relatively slow, and growing significantly fast from 2000, at which time the overall pollutions in Fujian were at a high level. In recent years, with the industrial wastewater and industrial dust effectively governance, Fujian comprehensive environmental pollution level of growth trend to be well controlled.

-----* Public and Promotion *-----

Working on synthetic biology in a lab is amazing, but sharing our enthusiasm can be even more wonderful. For the science education, we worked with people from all walks of life including teenagers, citizens, freshmen and XMU students.

  • Jul 22th

    Teenagers had the opportunities to extract DNA from bananas while learning about its structure and how it was produced inside cells. Through the extraction process, we described the purpose of each step, and invited them to consider the chemical and biological theory principles behind what they were doing. Both their parents and teachers encouraged us to hold more activities like this in order to help teenagers to put theory into practice. Now, there were no subjects referring to Synthetic Biology, however, most of students consequently found it interesting and considered it was important to life.

    As a result, we decided to put our efforts to spread the word about synthetic biology to the next generation of scientists.

  • Jul 29th

    In order to popularize the knowledge of domestic water to young people and promote the importance of water quality testing, we elaborately organized the practice activity in the Xiamen Science and Technology Museum. We designed the small games and quizzes relating to water quality detection and quizzes to popularize the knowledge to young people.

    Finally, we found that young people lack common sense of life water knowledge while it was actually very necessary to water saving and protection.

  • Oct 4th

    Fighting for Mooncake is a traditional activity spent with relatives or close friends in Xiamen area in order to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. Throughout the game, we advertised the iGEM to freshmen, and introduced our project this year. It was worth mentioning that we also collected solicited opinions from all the students about the feasibility of treatment by biological method for water pollution. 66.7% of participants showed positive attitudes towards bio-method, with the common sense of effects caused by microorganisms are easier to handle than chemical hazarders. Besides, only 3.7% students thought two dealing ways were equal.Whole results statistics

  • Oct 22th

    We organized the First Synthetic Biology Debate in XMU in the October 21st. XMU debating team as well as the College of chemistry and chemical engineering college debating team argued about if the disadvantages of artificial transformation of life to human development outweigh the advantages. As this event was faced to whole range of students, it greatly popularized synthetic biology in the whole academy.

-----* Idea and Wisdom *-----

No one can make great progress without advice and golden ideas from their excellent partners. During last six month, we participated in some iGEM conferences or even worked as the innovative online meeting organizers. Hopefully these events contributed greatly to all of us.

  • Jul 30th
    to Aug 4th

    Firstly, we participated in the 5th Asia-Pacific iGEM Conference, a big gathering for Asian iGEM teams held by National Chiao Tung University. More than 20 teams have brought their projects there and we all have had our posters and presentations. It was a good opportunity to practice for the final Jamboree and the first time to present our project frankly to iGEMers from Asia. By exchanging ideas and current progresses, we got suggestions from other team members and teachers, which had great influence on our next work.

  • Aug 6th

    Secondly, in the afternoon of August 6th, we went to Beijing to meet the iGEM team of the Tsinghua University and the Peking University, communicating and discussing our project designs, human practice, team construction and management. They gave us a variety of advice and, at the same time, practical feedbacks were made by us too. And after the end of the exchanging communication, our team still offered online help about Human Practice part for the Tsinghua University.

  • Aug 15th

    Thirdly, we acted as the organizer to hold a video conference of 1st Collaborative Innovation Online-conference for iGEM whose theme centered on biological treatment of heavy metals. Six teams from five universities in Asia area including XMU-China, UCAS, SCUT-China_A, SCUT-china_B, NCKU_tainan, SJTU-Biox-Shanghai took part in this communication conference.

  • Aug 26th
    to 28th

    Furthermore, CCiC with the full name of the Conference of China iGEMer Community Meetup was held at Fujian Agriculture And Forestry University in from August 26th to 28th. Dozens of teams from all over the China as well as experts in Syn Bio field such as IGEM HQ Professor King L. Chow, Professor Kenneth Oye from MIT. During this conference, we fortunately realized that we should not only be a follower, but also keep pace with the leading role model, striving for higher efficiency, utility and practicability for the project we designed.

  • Sep 9th

    Last but not the least, we invited SYSU-China to offline communication.