Our team finalized our partnership with LZU-China in April because of the same topic about colonial treatment. We have been keeping in touch for a long time and discussing and figuring out the problems encountered. The areas we have been working together are as follows. We are grateful for this experience of mutual help, and we have learned a lot in this process.

  Wet lab: Lysin gene improvement

  Education and public engagements: a synthetic biology-themed picture book promoted in Hangzhou Low Carbon Museum and Landa Elementary School, co-launched some pup-science articles on the self-media, co-hosted public activity in Hangzhou low carbon science and technology museum

  Human practices: information shared and subsequent improve our applied design

  Model: give useful suggestion for our model

  Applied design: explore applied design and constantly improve it




Figure 1 Timeline of partnership with LZU-China


1 Wet lab: Lysin gene improvement

This year we wanted to design a lysin gene to initiate the lysin gene after ingesting arabinose, thus cleaving EcN1917 after finishing its work. We constructed a pGLO-lysin plasmid and transformed it into DH 5α, E. coli MG1655 and EcN1917 (E. Coli Nissle 1917) strains, and characterized the effect of lysin on the growth of these strains. Compared to E. coli DH5α, E. coli MG1655, we found that the growth of EcN1917 was worse without adding arabinose. It is maybe referred to the leaked expression of lysin. We shared these results with LZU-China and we tried to using a medium copy rate plasmid vector and a low copy rate plasmid vector respectively. But, very unfortunately, the experiments did not succeed. My team repeated the experiment using pGLO-lysin plamid, and finally succeeded. The results showed that lysin expression induced by arabinose inhibited the growth of EcN1917 but still poorer. So, it is still remain a problem need to be solved.


Figure 2 (A) Effect of arabinose on EcN1917 transformed with pGLO-Lysin plasmid (Left: bacteria solution without arabinose, right: bacteria solution treated with 30mM arabinose for 10h); EcN1917 colonies after transformation (B: EcN1917 transformed with pGLO-Lysin plasmid, C: EcN1917 transformed with pSU plasmid, D: competent EcN1917)



2 Education and public engagements

For education, Worldshaper-HZBIOX, LZU-CHINA, collaborated with SZ-SHD, co-launched a picture book about synthetic biology, united promotion activity on WeChat official account and cohosted an offline public engagement activity.


2.1 Picture book about synthetic biology

For education, Worldshaper-HZBIOX, LZU-CHINA, collaborated with SZ-SHD, planned to launch a picture book about synthetic biology, mainly for children in the second to sixth grade of elementary school, who lack education in the biology field. The whole process could be divided into 3 phases: conceptual phase, feedback phase, and promotion phase.

On 7th June, all of our 3 teams had an online meeting with the Lifang Li professor, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Lanzhou University invited by LZU-China. She helped us refine our storyline and give our many useful suggestions to make children more accessible. However, synthetic biology is a vast topic, and considering the comprehension ability of children, we decided to use cartoons to convey the construction ideas of each of our teams. In the following few days, each team sorted out its storyline. The whole picture book is drawn by the artist Worldshaper-HZBIOX contacted and finished at the end of July.

Worldshaper-HZBIOX printed the picture book and shared to the children participating in the engagement activity held in Hangzhou Low Carbon Museum. Meanwhile, LZU-China shared the picture books to the children of Landa Elementary School, both of which have achieved good publicity. And a small-scale children’s preview was also conducted to collect the feedback. For safety reasons, all our underage children’s surveys were taken in their guardians' presence. (The detailed results of survey please refer to the pdf attached below.)

Generally speaking, our picture book has basically achieved the purpose of promoting synthetic biology to younger children, but some children did not understand it due to too many professional terms and a slightly obscure plot. We subsequently reduced the number of terms and simplified the plot, and the final version of the book is shown below.



This browser does not support PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: Download PDF.

2.2 Co-launched some pup-science articles on the self-media

To raise citizens’ awareness about synthetic biology, Worldshaper-HZBIOX, LZU-CHINA, and SZ-SHD set up a synthetic biology column on the WeChat Official Account, posting articles and videos on it weekly.

On August 3rd, our three teams held an online meeting to discuss the schedule. Overall, we discussed three topics about pop-science—colorectal cancer, synthetic biology, and Human Practice sharing.


Figure 3: the meeting photo


For the first part, LZU-CHINA did research about immunotherapy and synthetic biology, and Worldshaper-HZBIOX paraphrased and posted onto self-media.


Figure 4: pop-science for immunotherapy and synthetic biology


For the second part, we invite an immunotherapy expert and interviewed her together. Then, Worldshaper-HZBIOX summarized the given suggestions and posted them on self-media.


Figure 5: the interviewing summary and the photos of online interviewing


Generally, we reached a brilliant promotional effect. Thousands of people had read our pop-science articles. And also, we received some messages from readers which indicated that the interests in our popular science articles, and we have also achieved the goal of publicity and popular science, such as some questions related to the prices and side-effect of immunotherapy.


2.3 Cohosted an offline public engagement activity

August 7, 2022, 1:30-4:30 p.m., we, Worldshaper-HZBIOX, LZU-CHINA, and SZ-SHD team carried out offline public publicity activities at the Hangzhou Low Carbon Science and Technology Museum to publicize the purpose and significance of our project. The event was attended by all members of the three teams in Hangzhou.

The purpose of this event is,

1.  Promote the discipline of synthetic biology.

2.  Share knowledge of synthetic biology.

3.  The harm of popular science cancer and the great contribution of fruit flies in the field of genetic research have brought to people.

4.  Share the worries of cancer patients as well as medical staff


At the event, the Worldshaper-HZBIOX team contacted and implemented the venue and brought visitors many spherical and long strips of candy, aiming to guide visitors to learn the basics of synthetic biology through these abstract models. Visitors string together candies with toothpicks and add long strips of gummy to the side, completing a simple version of the DNA double helix model.

The LZU-CHINA team at Lanzhou University used plasmid fragments to make E. coli balloons, which were introduced and shown to tourists the structure of bacteria. The balloons are cute and are loved by friends. The Sioux High School team, SZ-SHD, brought some pipettes for painting, which made the activity more interesting. After mixing with paint dipped in water, you can draw on paper after stuffing the tip of the gun and absorbing the paint. In this activity, the imagination of tourists is maximized, and beautiful pictures jump on the paper.


We popularized the characteristics of cancer, E. coli and other organisms like tourists through large screens and speakers, and emphasized the great threat of cancer to the safety of human life. Many tourists stopped to watch and took out their mobile phones to take pictures, and they were deeply aware of the dangers of cancer to life. Visitors enter through the entrance and after completing the above activities, they can redeem the corresponding rewards with their cards. They scrambled to write their names on the autograph wall, and the scene was lively.


The masses said that this activity is unique and a good supplement to the gap in the knowledge of some diseases that people may encounter in their daily lives, which is a very meaningful activity, and hope that there will be more and more such activities.


3 Human practices

During this season, we conducted several expert interviews to clarify the immunotherapy treatment, applied design of our probiotics, etc. The resources and the interview result we gained would share with each other.

For example, we had research on the market for sugar-based pharmaceuticals and probiotic-based powder drugs, but still confused about how to make a pharmaceutical and the form of the drug we want to make. We decided to make arabinose in the form of sugar pills, but we didn't have a clear idea about the form of probiotic medicine. In order to figure out exactly how we would present a probiotic medicine, we interviewed a professor Feng. The professor pointed out that generally probiotics are in the form of powder in capsules. We shared these results and talk our ideas with LZU-China, then promoted to further collaboration of applied design.



4 Modeling

In order to provide a reference for the future application of engineered bacteria, Worldshaper-HZBIOX wanted to do a mathematical modeling to analyze the influence of arginine concentration on bacterial growth. One member of the LZU-China team participated and worked with us to complete the construction part with us.



5 Applied design

At an online talk about applied design, we exchange the research results and our interview results with LZU-China and finally we achieved cooperation intention on applied design. According to our interview results, capsules maybe a good choice to ensure the activity of probiotics but we can't get into the lab and LZU-China can. So we recommended ACA capsules to LZU-China after a long literature review and research, and LZU-China is mainly responsible for the experimental part as for the experiment we designed. LZU-China completed capsule experiments between mid- September to early-October. As below is the market research result done by us and the experiment results done by LZU-China. With help of LZU-China, we have preliminarily verified our idea.



© 2022-Content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

The repository used to create this website is available at gitlab.igem.org/2022/worldshaper-hzbiox.