Team:METU Turkey policypractice


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iGEM is an international, scientific project, which teaches to future scientist how to be a real researcher. As you know it is not only doing experiments, it also requires awaring of ethical issues, social situation and needs of the public which you are in, safety of you,your colleages and your work. As the future scientists, METU iGEM 2014 team, we are all aware of these critical issues and while working we try to apply this on our project. When we are selecting our this year project’s subject we also based on this iGEM’s philosophy which believes making science is not just about doing experiment. We focus on the one of the most impoortant problems in nature, degredation of plastic more specifically PET. Also when we are doing activies for human practice , we had only one goal on our mind, spread science to all people and share our humble knowledge with everyone and have a little fun while doing these. -In our SynBio Survey our aim was determine the interest and knowledge of the students from our university about Syntetic Biology and Genetics. We had the chance to put 2 best answers to our wiki websites, but based on all answer we got from people we can say that there are still so much ignorance and misunderstanding about Genetics and Synthetic Biology. So, especially as future scientists we should try harder to inform people around us. -We wanted to do something about spreading scientific knowledge around us, we found the excellent way for that and organise a Synthetic Biology day! We knew that there are lots of people around us who wants to know more about Synthetic Biology. Our speakers was the people who focus especially on Synthetic Biology and most of them even personally take part in last years iGEM competitions. We as this years iGEM team and participants learned so much valuable things in this conference. -We met with young iGEMers from METU Development Foundation Schools and tried to share our last years’ iGEM experiences with them and perform basic procedures to do iGEM projects. It was so inspiring to met with these future scientists and we are very glad if we can teach them even a little thing. -We didn’t just work also had fun with science! We organize two party to met with new people and have fun together with help of science. Our first party was SynBio Party and it has a concept of science and Synthetic Biology. With help of this party we can explain what is synthetic biology and what is our aim. -And finally we get rid of our stress by smashing some PETs! We say our friends they have 10 seconds to smash plastic water bottles and record their achievements. Of course while playing this game people got curious about what are we doing and why. So we had to chance to explain our PET project to more people.

PET degredation is a crucial thing but why it can’t be also fun? As an answer this question, we played a game with some team members and genetics students. In this game, we wanted from people to bend max number of plastic bottles in 10 seconds. Our aim is to tell people about our iGEM concept, our project and synthetic biology in an amusing way. Have fun

SynBio Party! #2

Hello everyone! On 5th of April, we held our second SynBio Party. Approximately 200 people joined and had fun with Live Music and then DJ performance begun. It started at 09:00 pm and continued untill 02:00 am in Matiz Bistro & Pub in Ankara. As you can see in photos, our team members wore lab coats and served colorful shots in experiment tubes. It was important for us because in this way people might be learned more about what is synthetic biology and iGEM . While we were selling our party tickets, we gave lots of informations about them and informed them about our project. We tried to design a striking party poster. Thus, we used visuals that are related with synthetic biology such as, experiment tubes . When students from different deparments saw our posters, they automatically ask what is iGEM ? , What does synbio mean? In this way, we had a chance to explain. Now lots of people in our university have known these answers and we have reached our goal. Scientific Truth : Everybody loves drinking colorful things in experiment tubes! :D

SynBio Party! #3

Autumn is coming! Before the midterm season, we decided to organize SynBio Party #3 but this time our concept was "Autumn"! Approximately 150 people joined. They really loved Autumn Concept. The ground was filled with yellow and red leaves, tables decorated with pine cones, and it started at 08:30 pm until 02.00 am. DJ perdormance and Live Band Music has been performed in IF Performance Hall which is a well-known place in Ankara. Same as the previous ones, our first aim was to introduce synthetic biology.

We gave Lab education to young iGEM'ers!

We have started, advised and helped to this year's High School team "METUHS-Ankara"!

We are raising new iGEM'ers!

HighSchool iGEM Courses: There is a part of iGEM for highschools which they can attent with their projects like for undergraduate and graduate parts. METU Development Foundation Schools (ODTÜ Geliştirme Vakfı Koleji) is one of the highschools which participate in this competition. We met this young iGEM'ers in this winter and made an education programme about synthetic biology. First, we attented to conference of Dr. Emrah Altındiş called “Approaching the deveopment of bacterial antigen with the help of Bioinformatics and Proteomics”. Then we visited our university's Central Laboratory. In Central Lab, we reviewed the protocols and performed Plasmid Isolation and Gel Electrophoresis. Then we made an presentation about iGEM Competition, generally what it is, what did we do last years and we gave some advices to them. We think this education program was helpful for METU highschool team and for us. We were so glad to share our experiences with young scientists. We have helped them in their WetLab and Modeling of their project. We are planning to repeat this education and helping in the following years.

II. METU The Day of Synthetic Biology!

As METU iGEM 2014 Team, we organized “II.METU The Day of Synthetic Biology” in February 22, 2014. With more than 190 participants, event was extremely productive for everyone. We both find the opportunity to listen to our teacher working on synthetic biology and contact with other iGEM teams. Our event started with the opening speech of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Can Özen. His ideas on İGEM and iGEM teams in the past years led us at many issues. Then Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yeşim Aydin Son’s “Synthetic Biology in the Era of Biotechnology” speech was entitled. Synthetic biology combines with a different perspective in a futuristic manner guiding this conversation was for all participants. Life her speech, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Can Özen’s “Peptide Drug Discovery and Design” speech was entitled. Then, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Haluk Külah “BioMEMS and microfluidic” titled speech joined the biology and engineering sciences. Engineering application on explaining the biology of this conversation because it is in line with the objectives of İGEM’s. Our interest by all participants were heard. Prof. Dr. Mahinur S. Akkaya from Department of Chemistry gave her speech “iGEM at METU”. To listen experiences of prior iGEM team was a guide for our future works. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Urartu Özgür Şafak Şeker from Bilkent University, made his speech on “Genetic Circuit and Device Designs”. His speech was also listened with interest and lots of questions asked him. Finally, a graduate from Middle East Technical University, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Burak Yılmaz gave his speech on “Experience from iGEM Synthetic Biotechnology Corporation”. His speech introduced us opportunities on different jobs and gave some ideas for our future. Our organization ended with positive feedbacks. Next year, we’re planning a new organization with our experiences and would like to welcome everyone interested in synthetic biology.

SynBio Survey!

As METU 2014 iGEM Team, we wondered the ideas of our students from different departments, on Molecular and Synthetic Biology. So we prepared a simple survey and asked people questions in a lunchbreak. Approximately, 70 people attended this survey and we chose best 3 answer for you. Here are the questions and answers of them: First page; 1)What is synthetic biology, could you explain it in a sentence? Science of life in labratory. 2)What are the effects of synthetic biology in our lives? Sort of enyzmes and some beneficial drugs for human health can be produced in the lab, researches can be done about DNA and hereditary diseases 3)What do you think about GDO? In lab, it is acceptable but in food industy, it would be prohibited by laws 4)Could be a collobration between your department and Molecular Biology and Genetics? My department is Computer Engineering and yes it is possible. With some softwares, the image can be clarified or zoomed. The temperatures of rooms can be stabilized by computer technologies 5)In Genetics, which topic is investigated the most? The structure of DNA and RNA Second answer page Second page; 1)What is synthetic biology, could you explain it in a sentence? Biological structures which are produced by human, synthetically 2)What are the effects of synthetic biology in our lives? It can be used in treatment of lots of diseases or destruction of harmful genes. 3)What do you think about GDO? There are some discussions on it. Production might be more efficient but also might be harmful for human health. 4)Could be a collobration between your department and Molecular Biology and Genetics? My department is Biomedical Engineering and it would be a very beneficial and efficient collabration 5)In Genetics, which topic is investigated the most? Cancer and relative diseases Third page; 1)What is synthetic biology, could you explain it in a sentence? İt can be defined as design and construction of new biological part or redesign of existing organisms for different fields like industry, food, medicine, etc. 2)What are the effects of synthetic biology in our lives? It is everywhere! In our foods, in our houses, in our medicines.. 3)What do you think about GDO? Actualy it is a very hot topic and still there are researches and data about GDO. However i think it should be used. 4)Could be a collobration between your department and Molecular Biology and Genetics? My department is Food Engineering, so also now there are many collobrations between my deparment and MBG. 5)In Genetics, which topic is investigated the most? Cosmetics and anti-aging

Bilkent University Conferance

Our team attended Bilkent University's Conferances together which is called Horizons in Molecular Biology and Genetics VI on 12-13 April 2014. Conference was about anti-aging, virology, immunology, regenerative medicine, stem cell and neuroscience. We had chance to listen scientists came from all over the world. This conference organized by last year's iGEMmer's so besides learning lot of valuable knowledge, we find the chance of share our experinces about iGEM.

We are very proud to be as part of the Life to Lake Burdur Project. We support it because this project mainly focuses on saving Lake Burdur which is vanishing day by day. Lake Burdur is famous for its rich biological life. Aphanius burduricus, a species of fish that is prevalent in Turkey and found in Lake Burdur, is under threat as the water in the lake continues to vanish due to rapid evaporation and senseless irrigation. According to statistics, the lake loses 330 million tons of its 4.3 billion-ton capacity each year. Each year the lake shrinks by one meter. If the evaporation and drought continue at this rate, Lake Burdur is expected to disappear within 20 years. As a Biological Science Students , we aware of it and we always give messages about environmental issues. Here you can see Official Facebook page of the Life to Lake Burdur Project shared our video and they thanked a lot for our effort !

iGEM Picnic

iGEMers knows, this project is a lifestyle. It takes all your time, tires you so much, needs your attention, doesn’t accept any fault… However, with iGEM, you enter a different world. You start to live and do everything with your team members and at the end, they became your family.. As an example of this strong friendship, in a hot august day, we decided to go to picnic. It was a wonderful day, we ate great stuff, passed a great day and saved energy for our future studies!

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