DNA is the code of life. It carries all the genetic instructions used in the growth, development, functioning
and reproduction of all living things. And the best part? We can play with it! Learn how and why DNA is
extracted and then try out your hands using a Do-it- yourself (DIY) kitchen method to extract DNA from your
favourite fruit. Extract and compare your very own DNA samples just like real scientists do!
Synthetic Biology is one of the hottest areas in biotechnology these days. It is biology driven by
engineering principles to design DNA parts, circuits and devices that re-engineer living cells, making them
work exactly the way we want to. Learn how these DNA parts can be 'wired' together to build new genetic
'circuits', and how to design your very own, brand new biological system using a selection of DNA parts.
Did you think Biology was boring? Or maybe too complicated? Or that you need a lot of study to play with
DNA? Think again, because we have made Synthetic Biology simple and for everyone! Our super cool and
easy to play Bio-Brick card game makes education and science available for all! Everyone, from parents to
children can now learn and design brand new DNA circuits. The rules are simple, there are no rules! Just
pick up Bio-Bricks from the deck and keep on making new generic devices!
Are you an artist? Does the art and beauty of the natural world around us intrigue and excite you? Bio Art is
where we create art with life, come and learn how to paint with live colorful bacteria. And not just any
bacteria but some diverse, friendly and beautiful species living on your hands, hair and body (aka your
Microbiome). Fun fact: there are more bacterial cells in and on your body than your own cells!
We took these activities to schools across the country especially to all seven divisions of the KP
province, through a direct collaboration with the provincial government for the KP Summer Camp.
We designed systems and extracted DNA with over 1280 students of all ages and backgrounds.
Children especially loved the fact that we play around with colors a lot in synthetic biology. Their
designer organisms had everything from pink monkeys to bananas that taste of oranges!
We attended Pakistan’s first MakerFest held in Lahore and set up our DIY DNA and BioArt experiments alongside artists, engineers and makers from all over the country. More than 250 participants of all ages and walks of life stopped by our stall and had a great time doing DIY biology and learning about synbio!
Peshawar 2.0’s Makerthon is a week long educational and inspirational bootcamp for young makers from ages 8-16. We were invited to conduct a workshop where we taught the young scientists about Synbio and did some fun experiments!
We were also invited to Hazara University for Conference on Computational Biology & Genomics.
Because this was an event attended by fellow researchers and Professors, we gave a talk about our projects and synbio in general and then conducted a Synbio Design challenge where we taught them how to put together BioBrick devices!
The biggest science fair in Pakistan was held for the 2nd time in Karachi. Our team set up all 4 activities and on a 3 day schedule we conducted experiments with and educated an astounding 4000+ children, parents and teachers about synthetic biology! This was by far the most exhilarating of all our outreach experiences.