Team:WPI-Worcester -




Beyond the Bench

Beyond the Bench Question:

If we are successful in creating a quick, effective, and inexpensive diagnostic tool for livestock disease that utilizes proteins from Bacillus anthracis, would farmers be willing to use this tool to diagnose their livestock?

Beyond the Bench Logic

As scientists, we felt that our project would have a significant impact on the farming community and the world at large. In order to understand whether our project would actually have this impact, we needed to determine how farmers would view certain aspects of our project. We created a survey to find out the opinions of farmers in the New England area. Our primary concern was that farmers would be afraid to use synthetic biology tools that utilized proteins from a bacteria that cause a devastating disease, anthrax. To view the results of our survey, click here.

Beyond the Bench Results

The feedback we received from farmers in the New England area conveyed a positive feeling towards our potential diagnostic tool. One third of the survey respondents said they would definitely use the tool, and 60% said they would consider using it. Only 7% said they would definitely not use the diagnostic tool. We believe that the 60% of people that said they would consider using our diagnostic tool would likely be swayed towards the positive side of the spectrum once the construct was cleared by the FDA and its effectiveness had been fully tested and proven. This information was important to us as we worked on our project because it indicated that the successful completion of our project could make a difference and hopefully will not fall by the wayside.