Key Achievements

  • Started campus wide agenda to push for Bio-Engineering Department in Ashesi
  • Introduced Berekuso youth to synthetic biology by performing a Synthetic Biology lecture series
  • Interviewed Dr. Daniel Asamani, whose concerns about our anti-biotic resistant mechanism, lead to a killswitch design to be added.
  • Interviewed Mr Abaahom, who has previous experience working with acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans in an experimental capacity. He suggested modifying E.coli to have the need functionalities, allowing for cheaper production when scaling

Interviews with Experts

Our team contacted Dr. Daniel Asamani, a research scientist from Environmental Protection Agency in Ghana. We wanted his guidance in consideration for how our project might affect the enviroment. His work involves researching the enivronemtnal effects of illegal mining in remote villages such. While supportive of our project, Dr Asamani brought up concerns with the anti-bacteria mechanism used in the project. Specifically about accidental human ingestion.

We also contacted one of the site managers, Mr Abaahom of Elite Mining corporation in Ghana, to get some feedback on current industrial process and potential problems in implementation. He was very receptive of our idea but cautioned against in situ fearing uncontrolled growth.

We also interviewed a rep from the Ministry of Enivrioment, Science, Technology and Innovation on the current progress of legislation in Ghana which may be a road block in our project. W=Very receptive of the project they pointed out the current legal framework does not prohibit use of synthetic biology products but stressed the need to standaradize.

Interview with Student Populace and Berekuso Youth

Clear science communication is of utter importance when it comes to developing novel fields. Nearly every audience member is learning about synthetic biology for the first time, and this can pose the challenge of spreading information to a lot of people with a wide range of educational backgrounds, perspectives, and understand of the genetic engineering.

This year, one audience we wanted to connect with specifically are individuals who are highly educated but not knowledgeable in synthetic biology. As synthetic biology has the potential to draw from and influence many areas of research, it is imperative to start an open, multi-disciplinary conversation about future collaborations and seek solutions to address different concerns.

The GiGEM team then had a lecture series for the children within the local which Ashesi is situated. These sessions was meant to expose the concept of synthetic biology and also to generate interest in the field for the next generation. You can find our more on our public engagement page

Ashesi University is school aimed at Leadership, Scholarship and Citizenship. A school who only open their engineering department in 2015. The 2017 iGEM team believes strongly that a bio engineering department and program is needed for the next generation of engineer to have even more tools in the Ashesi dream of reforming Africa.

We therefore began a campus wide awareness campaign on synthetic biology and our project, showing why a BioEngineering department is a neccessity.


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