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Sustainable development

"Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract- --sustainable development-- and turn it into a reality for all the world's people." -Kofi Anan.

One of the most crucial yet difficult components of creating solutions is incorporating sustainability into innovation. As a team, we sought to provide a solution that advances the UN's sustainable development objectives.

Our Project, “NeuraSyn,” targeted to achieve 6 Sustainable Development Goals:

  • #Goal 3 - Good Health and well-being

  • #Goal 4 - Quality Education

  • #Goal 5 - Gender Equality

  • #Goal 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

  • #Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

  • #Goal 17 - Partnerships for the Goals.

#Goal 3 - Good Health and well-being

3.3) By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases

Our region and country's most low-income population is exposed to less-than-ideal sanitary conditions, contaminated food, and poor-quality potable water. Living in Punjab, an agricultural, dairy, and food industry hub, gives us first-hand exposure to these problems. The tropical climate, malnutrition, and unhygienic living situations also cause many lethal infections. Thus, we came up with “NeuraSyn,” a quick, easy-to-use, and accurate technology that can detect microbes early and help the problem of late detection of the disease.

Ensuring universal access to healthcare and improving the healthcare system is essential, and with this project, we are contributing toward this goal.

#Goal 4 - Quality Education

4.5) By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and children in vulnerable situations

4. A ) Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability, and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive, and effective learning environments for all.

Our initiative, NeuraSyn, is built on offering a cutting-edge method to find microorganisms. We took on this UN sustainable development objective because we wanted to inform everyone in our community about the various facets of synthetic biology.

The widespread ignorance of biological processes, the scientific method, and society at large may be eliminated by synthetic biology. Synthetic biology can address the educational needs of people from all backgrounds, become an effective tool to eliminate gender disparities, provide vocational training equally at all levels, and uplift children in vulnerable circumstances because the solutions it offers resonate with people and their problems.

We achieved our goal through the following activities:

Syn-Bio Workshops

Syn-Bio Workshop is unique to us as it was one of our initial mega outreach events in which we reached out to more than 140 students from 19+ states in India. We were delighted to interact with the students and explain various topics in Synthetic Biology, from DNA to its extraction techniques from fruit, introducing them to genetic engineering and some exemplary iGEM projects that helped solve an existing problem. Students were pleased to learn with the help of fun activities and simulations and got curious about the neural chip, an essential component of our project.

To learn more, please see the Comm. & Education section.

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 around these topics for our fellow scientific community members. The event witnessed the attendance of around 40+ undergraduate students across India, who learned a lot and asked great questions throughout the series.

To learn more, please see the Comm. & Education section.

Video Collab with iGEM Patras over iGEM, Wet Lab, Dry Lab, and Synthetic Biology

The concept of working together and creating an educational video about iGEM, synthetic biology, wet labs, and dry labs was proposed by Team iGEM Patras.

We connected with people from various places who spoke various languages because each team responded to inquiries about this topic in their language. It was a lot of fun to work on this together.

To learn more, please see the Comm. & Education section.

Video over BioSafety Protocols

Bio-Safety is vital 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 play an essential role in protecting lab workers, the environment, and the public. 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. We collaborated with Team Athens, Team Patras Medicine, Team- MIT - MAHE, and Team- Estonia TUIT, and everybody put up a great effort in explaining the importance of each protocol that should be taken while working in the laboratory.

To learn more, please see the Comm. & Education section.

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.

The comic can be read at our Instagram

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.

Educating the masses over Social media

We were able to engage a sizable audience on our social media with many interactive posts and quizzes. We wrote a series of postings that anyone could understand, starting with Basic Molecular Diagnostic Techniques and moving on to our project, its significance, and its key elements. With the help of the tests and polls, we made the postings interactive.

The learn more visit our Instagram

Synthetic Biology Demos on 16th Foundation Day

As IISER, Mohali celebrates its 16th Foundation day every year. We welcomed around 700 students studying in classes 5th to 12th on our campus. We had a great time engaging with these students by showing them demonstrations related to molecular docking, DNA extraction, laser microscopy, and so on.

Please visit our Comm. & Education section to learn more about this.

It was very much fun to spend time with students and see them fascinated by science.

#Goal 5 - Gender Equality

5.1) End all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere

According to research by UNICEF, females are less likely than boys to be highly proficient in STEM fields. When they reach upper secondary school, fewer girls pursue STEM-related majors. We worked to achieve gender equality in STEM as undergraduates interested in science and synthetic biology.

Ensuring universal access to healthcare and improving the healthcare system is essential, and with this project, we are contributing toward this goal.

  • Celebrating Women in STEM -We celebrated Women who are often forgotten for their achievements in Science. We raised questions to our audience on social media. Is science gender-biased? Are they women in science or scientists? Do you think excluding every woman from the science society leads to any loss or significant consequence? As we wanted to highlight that women play an essential role in building up solid scientific histories and should be given the due credit that they deserve.

  • Celebrating diverse representation in STEM- Diverse representation is essential in the current times. We celebrated Disability Pride month and talked about people's misconceptions about it.

  • We also featured Nikolaas Tinbergen, a Nobel laureate who fought against depression, as people often stigmatize depression in academia and don’t place importance on Mental Health and well-being.

  • Not only this, but we also celebrated Pride month and showed our support to the LGBTQIA+ community, as they should be warmly welcomed in STEM.

  • Moreover, gender balance and equal opportunities could be exhibited in our diverse team representation, with people from different majors coming together.

#Goal 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

9.4) By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

Our chip addresses a pertinent problem: sustainable computing. The world, especially India, is facing severe predicaments due to pollution and global warming. An increasing portion is contributed by computers - CPUs, GPUs, and electronic detectors which generate massive carbon emissions and toxic electronic waste. A neural chip has neurons, harmless biological entities, as computational units making it reusable and eco-friendly. Hence, we are innovating a better technology for a better tomorrow.

#Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

12.5) By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse

Digitization drives over the past few decades have introduced electronics and computers in every country. While this helps increase productivity and efficiency, it has resulted in a massive increase in carbon footprint and the generation of toxic waste. The neural chip provides a non-toxic and sustainable computing alternative that is accurate, fast, and can quickly “learn” to solve new problems. Also, a neural chip has neurons, harmless biological entities, as computational units, which makes it reusable and eco-friendly. Thus, we are substantially looking forward to reducing the generation of E-waste.

#Goal 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

17.6) Enhance North-South, South-South, and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology, and innovation, and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, particularly at the UN level and through a global technology facilitation mechanism when agreed

With the use of synthetic biology, iGEM aims to solve real-world problems. This organization is unique in bringing together individuals from different cultures, languages, and nations. As a result, the spirit of cooperation and teamwork is essential to the iGEM experience.

Since the start of our iGEM experience, Team IISER-Mohali India has been participating in this collaborative attitude and collaborated with several other iGEM Teams, including a long-term partnership with iGEM team Montpellier.

Read more about this on our Partnership and Collaboration pages.

We not only collaborated with iGEM Teams but also with Rang and LDS clubs from IISER, Mohali, to develop our Comic Strip.

Please visit our Comm. & Education section to learn more about this.


  1. Target 12.5 by 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse