The Idea


Early education is an essential prerequisite for later work. In the beginning, we found that the students around us, who all are very interested in biology, do not know what synthetic biology is. But since the birth of synthetic biology, this discipline has made vital achievements and progress in the field of biology and brought a new direction to the future of humanity. This year, our education program is mainly aimed at junior and senior high school students interested in synthetic biology and willing to dive deeper into the field of biology in the future. We hope to plant the seed of synthetic biology in their hearts through our series of activities that will thrive someday.

WeChat Official Account

What is synthetic biology?

We, THINKER_CHINA, popularize the basic knowledge of synthetic biology to the public by registering for the WeChat official account.

First, we vividly introduced the definition of synthetic biology by comparing it to the process of building LEGO. We compared different gene modules as LEGO pieces of different colors and shapes, and what synthetic biologists are doing is dismantling these pieces from a constructed LEGO building and putting them onto another constructed building for the purpose of adding a landscape of the scenery we desire, or take it apart and re-use these pieces to build a piece yourself.

In addition, we informed our readers of synthetic biology's applications in daily life by analyzing the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations today. Meanwhile, the problems that may be faced in the development of synthetic biology today are also mentioned through these applications.

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In our WeChat official account's biosecurity education tweet, we started with eight biosecurity branches, and three of these branches related to synthetic biology were selected: genetically modified organisms, invasive species, and laboratory safety. We first introduced the basics of the three branches. Then, we did an in-depth analysis of news cases like "monkey killing," "human-rabbit relationship," and many other factual cases. Finally, we introduced the "Biosafety Law" enacted in China to the readers, and at the same time, we have issued an initiative to raise the readers' awareness of the importance of biosafety.

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E.Coli Knowledge Sharing Activity

Escherichia coli plays an important role in modern bioengineering and industrial microbiology due to its long history of laboratory usage and its malleability. Stanley Norman Cohen and Herbert Boyer's work on E. coli used plasmids and restriction enzymes to create recombinant DNA, which became the foundation of biotechnology. Escherichia coli is crucial in biological laboratories and pursuing sustainable development, where Escherichia coli serves as a "production factory" of bioenergy. At the same time, artificial insulin, vaccines, etc., are inseparable from Escherichia coli. Therefore it is no exaggeration that Escherichia coli can be called an indispensable bacteria for the development of biotechnology and synthetic biology.

However, through our investigations, we found that even with all the benefits Escherichia coli can bring, it is often unheard of to both biology-focused students and students who are focused on other fields. And even students who have heard of it all have a stereotype against Escherichia coli due to its partial futures that might cause diseases. Therefore, we decided to hold a biological sharing session on Escherichia coli.


In this sharing session, THINKER_CHINA's captain Sangji Zhuoma shared with the students how human beings have progressed from the discovery of Escherichia coli by Theodor Escherich to its in-depth utilization. In addition, to give students a comprehensive understanding of the pathogenicity of E. coli, THINKER_CHINA's vice-captain, Fan Yuke, shared with the students the biological characteristics of E. coli in terms of growth, inheritance, and reproduction. Furthermore, he introduced the STEC infection caused by O157:H7 infection and its related STX (Shiga toxin) and SLT (verotoxin), allowing students to fully understand the principle, symptoms, and prevention methods of E. coli infection. Finally, in order to dispel most of the students' stereotypical understanding of E. coli, Fan Yuke introduced to the students the role of E. coli in promoting biology today and talked about the projects that are using E. coli in bioenergy in the world. 


An Activity in Biology Club: What is Synthetic Biology?

Due to the limitation of the word counts on the WeChat official account, we cannot dive deeper into synthetic biology for our readers. To this end, we conducted a series of lectures on what is synthetic biology in the biology club of Beijing No. 80 Middle School. Sangji Zhuoma and Wang Haopeng systematically introduced the development and prospects of today's synthetic biology for those students who are interested in biology and deeply analyzed the advantages of synthetic biology in the modern world. In addition, we present in-depth information on the application of synthetic biology to DNA


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In these educational lectures, our educational content will design some areas that are not in the field of study of our audience – the application of synthetic biology to DNA. For this purpose, we have produced an informative pamphlet on synthetic biology in DNA. And we asked participants to evaluate our activity through questionnaires afterward.

From the students' feedback, it can be seen that the activity was an overall success.

By asking them to choose the part that is most beneficial to them, we can see that our pamphlets are highly influential to our audience.


Through a survey of 12 of the 33 students who participated in our last event, we found that through the innovation of these pamphlets, they were able to better absorb and understand the content of our speeches. Therefore, it can be seen from this that the invention of science pamphlets is very beneficial to our educational activities.

Through this event, we also succeeded in arousing the interest of the students to participate in iGEM.


Education Meeting

According to our interviews with classmates around us, although the world strives for sustainable development, most students do not know much about it. From 1990 to 2010, the population with access to electricity increased by 1.7 billion. As the world's population continues to grow, so does the need for affordable energy. In addition, the global economy's reliance on fossil fuels and rising greenhouse gas emissions are triggering dramatic climate change that will have tangible impacts on every corner of the planet. However, a trend to encourage alternative energy sources has emerged. In 2011, more than 20% of total global energy production was renewable energy. On the other hand, one-fifth of the world's population still has no access to electricity. Therefore, global renewable energy production needs to increase as energy demand grows significantly.

Fossil fuels such as coal, oil, or natural gas have been the primary source of electricity production for decades, but the combustion of carbon fuels produces large amounts of greenhouse gases, causing climate change and detrimental effects on people's well-being and the environment. In addition, global electricity consumption is proliferating. And now, synthetic biology is also entering the field of bioenergy development. To give students a deeper understanding of the current synthetic biology and sustainable development goals, we have carried out SDG & synthetic biology science lectures.