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As Mark Walport stated, “Science isn’t finished until it’s communicated” communication remains an essential part of Science. Science is about communicating and educating people, raising awareness, and imparting knowledge.

Team iGEM IISER Mohali focussed on educating and communicating the idea of our project, NeuraSyn, to the masses. During this journey of engaging and interacting with the public, we got a deeper understanding of the significance and impact of NeuraSyn. We also discovered a new perspective on synthetic biology, which helped us see the topic more broadly than as an isolated subject.

Meeting with Sci-Communicators and Educators

We were delighted to have a discussion with Science Communicator Ipsa Jain. She gave us insightful advice on our goals for science outreach. She advised us to think carefully about our concepts in order to identify our target audience and determine the best way to engage them. She emphasised that interactive postings, quizzes, and stories may help us engage the general public on social media in this day and age. She also suggested that we get in touch with government organisations and science centres in our cities that work to spread scientific knowledge. She also urged us to keep the syn-bio workshop brief and interactive.

Along with her, we spoke with Prof. Amit Kulshrestha, Dean Outreach, IISER Mohali who graciously agreed to support us in ensuring the success of our syn-bio workshop. Not only that, but he also helped us in planning a synthetic biology demonstration for IISER Mohali's 16th Foundation Day. He was always ready to help us with our outreach programs and to provide advice when we required it.

Dr Ipsa Jain

Dr Amit Kulshreshtha

Survey on GMO and synthetic biology:

Our team surveyed genetically modified organisms and Synthetic Biology in collaboration with Team-IISER TVM, Team AFCM Egypt, and Team- Patras to comprehend how the public perceives the idea of genetic engineering and synthetic biology. We wanted to analyze and understand the perspectives of individuals from various age groups, gender identities, geographic locations, educational backgrounds, and socioeconomic backgrounds to determine whether the public has accepted the advantages of GMOs and Synthetic biology.

The survey received 136 responses from Asia, America, Europe, and Africa. This survey also helped us analyze how people’s perception changes according to the geographical region they belong to. We also evaluated people’s willingness to learn about biosafety and synthetic biology, which helped us determine our Outreach goal.

This survey could benefit future iGEM teams by making them aware of the opinion of the masses on the use of GMOs and synthetic biology. Moreover, it also helps us understand what kind of science communication events could be organized to dispel misconceptions about GMOs in the public discourse and foster a more favorable perception of GMOs.

To learn more about our survey vist here.

Syn-Bio workshop:

We organized a one-day online synthetic biology workshop for students of class 9th - 12th to spread knowledge about synthetic biology and its applications. We received an overwhelming response, with more than 140 students nationwide. We started with a general description of synthetic biology and then branched off the topics according to the student's level of understanding by making different sessions for different classes. We made sure to keep the session interesting by discussing some previous year's iGEM projects and other exciting applications of synthetic biology. We tried to gather students’ views on real-life problems and their approach to solving them using synthetic biology.

  • We kept the workshops interactive and fun by frequently including quizzes and Q&A sessions. The sessions were based on the student's degree of knowledge to ensure they took home most of the information provided during the workshop.

  • Moderators communicated in both Hindi and English to ensure everyone was comfortable and could grasp all the concepts without any language barrier.

  • Science should be accessible to all. The lecture slides were supplied so people could share the information as needed and spread awareness. The lecture slides covered the fundamentals of molecular biology and its applications in great detail. By including eye-catching pictures and animations, we also made sure that the students would find the presentation slides entertaining and not boring.

  • It's no secret that feedback is an essential component of effective learning. We circulated a google form to collect participants' opinions on the workshop and were so happy to receive positive feedback. Moreover, every student who attended our program received a certificate of participation to appreciate their efforts.

Checkout the feedback from the students about this event here

Virtual talk series:

We envisioned developing a technology that can be used for simultaneous multi-factor disease detection. To do so, we were developing an Aptamer-based Microbial Detection platform using a Neural chip as a detector as part of the Proof of Concept. However, when we ventured through this journey, we realized many of our fellow batchmates and undergraduates were pretty unaware of the emerging role of Neurons in Bio-computation. Not only this, many of them heard about "Aptamers" for the first time. Thus, they were very curious about our project and wanted to learn more about the application of aptamers in diagnostics, therapeutics, and the role of neurons in bio-computation. Hence, we organized a week-long talk series hosting some of the eminent researchers from the field around these topics for our fellow scientific community members. The event witnessed the attendance of around 40+ undergraduate students across India, who interacted and shared their thoughts with world-class researchers.

Educating Through Social Media:

Today, social media has become an indispensable part of our lives. The most significant advantage of social media is better communication. We used our social media pages to communicate the advantages of our project, “NeuraSyn.” We discussed the conventional Molecular Diagnostic techniques used to detect microbes like RT-PCR and ELISA and their pros and cons. Additionally, we provided our viewers a small glimpse of the working and design of our neural chip through the posts. Our team actively engaged with our audience by conducting weekly quizzes through polls on social media to spread more knowledge about aptamers, neural chips, and molecular biology techniques.

Check out our Instagram and Twitter handle to learn more.

Student talks:

At IISER Mohali, our team met with wonderful people of IISER Mohali Community on 9th May 2022. We discussed iGEM , our Project and also had a great time answering their questions regarding our Project. We hoped that the discussion would help the audience understand how synthetic biology may be used to address societal issues as well as how multiple disciplines might intersect and overlap when working on a project. We also gave them an overview of iGEM and its numerous components. We also explained to the audience the biological principles that our concept, "NeuraSyn," is built on. Additionally, we talked with the audience about the engineering features of the neural chip; many of them were hearing about it for the first time, which piqued their interest in learning more.

At IACS, Kolkata

On September 17, 2022, the BS-MS community at IACS, Kolkata, asked our team to present a student talk. We hoped the discussion would help the audience understand how synthetic biology may be used to address societal issues and how multiple disciplines might intersect and overlap when working on a project. We also gave the audience a brief overview of iGEM and its many components. We also explained to the audience the biological principles on which our concept, "NeuraSyn," is built. Furthermore, we talked with the audience about the engineering behind the neural chip. They received a summary of the Dry Lab and Wet Lab work completed thus far and our future goals.

Thus, we were delighted to have this opportunity to discuss with fellow undergraduate students across the country.

Comic Strip

We believe providing pupils with a visual learning environment will enhance their learning experience. Thus, we envisioned the tale of young students engaged in a synthetic biology project suffering grave repercussions from an unexpected spread of infectious diseases. Although this comic book series is mainly aimed at children, adult readers may also find it interesting. It does so in an engaging, easy-to-understand, and stimulating way by introducing students to the ideas of biocomputing, neural chips, synthetic biology, and its applications.

Check out our Instagram and Twitter handle to learn more.

Biosafety video series:

BioSafety is essential to reduce the health-related risks of handling infectious agents, toxins, and other biological hazards in a laboratory setting. Knowing and following basic protocols while working in a laboratory can be essential in protecting lab workers, the environment, and the public. Our survey anticipated that majority of participants of the survey have a positive outlook on GMOs and synthetic biology but are worried if Biosafety measures can be ensured appropriately or not. They are also interested to know more about it. We also thought that iGEM teams exhibiting the biosafety protocols to be followed in a laboratory setting could help squash skepticism regarding the biocontainment and use of GMOs and synthetic biology in society.

The video is also educational for the students in STEM as it helps people learn about the safety precautions they should take for their co-workers and their safety. When we perceived this idea, we shared it over Global Slack Channel, and Team Athens, Team Patras Medicine, Team- MIT - MAHE, and Team- Estonia TUIT showed interest in joining us to create it. It was a pleasant experience to collaborate with these teams, and everybody put up a great effort in explaining the importance of each protocol that should be taken while working in the laboratory.

Check out our Instagram and Twitter handle to learn more.

Synthetic Biology Demos on 16th Foundation Day:

“To me, there is no greater calling; if I can inspire young people to dedicate themselves to the good of mankind, I've accomplished something.” – John Glenn.

On the occasion of IISER Mohali's 16th foundation day, our team engaged young minds by discussing and showing demonstrations relevant to synthetic biology. We gave them a glimpse into the synthetic biology world by discussing some interdisciplinary facets of Biology like Molecular docking, Laser microscopy, etc.

High schoolers from more than 10 schools participated and interacted with the team members about the fascinating aspects of synthetic biology.


In order to promote our initiative among the student community, our team published an article in Manthan magazine, a student publication made by the students of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali. We discussed the motivation behind the idea of the neural chip, our goals, and the importance and impact NeuraSyn can have on the world around us.

Check out the blog to learn more