Exeter | ERASE


Beyond the Bench

Our main beyond the bench question was focusing on the issues surrounding a real world release of our synthetic bacteria: Where would this be possible? And what social and economic impacts could this have on the surrounding community?


Our project has been thoroughly shaped by feedback from the public and other stakeholders. At every stage of our project the expertise provided by these stakeholders has been invaluable to the success of our work. The main way in which we gained this feedback was through various presentations and panel discussions.


In addition to this we wanted to give something back to the community, by making our project accessible and understandable to all. As our wiki and presentations already catered for the higher level aspects of the project our focus was mainly on making the simpler ideas surrounding synthetic biology and E.R.A.S.E available to a wide audience.

By discussing how, as a team, we had experienced our own introductions to synthetic biology and the science involved (baring in mind that as our team was extremely multidisciplinary) we were able to agree that being introduced to synthetic biology earlier in our academic careers would have been of great use to us; and as the field is becoming more versatile and dominant within the science community it’s surely something that all young people should be exposed to.


By personifying our E.coli as a character, TNTony, we were able to make the project more attractive and interesting to a younger audience, whilst still maintaining the in depth aspects of our project. We also worked with an artist to create other TNTony characters – hopefully reflecting the changing and engaging world of synthetic biology and the contributions that all audiences, young and old, can make.

The Game

With this in mind we created a simple game, which introduces the basic concepts of chemistry and synbio; inviting the player to help TNTony save the world from TNT & NG pollution whilst avoiding the pesky PCMX that zaps his health. By introducing the idea of synthetic biology in a fun yet educational light we hope to encourage young people to explore the field further, perhaps even inspiring them to start their own team! In addition to this we’ve spoken at the young scientist event, explaining what we have been doing to help young people understand the wide range of opportunities that a career in science can present.


Next: Beyond the Bench

Exeter | ERASE