- Wet Lab
- Dry Lab
- Human Practices
Human Practices are essentially interacting with humans. Whatever it would be that we would discover or create throughout our journey, we had decided, early on, that we would share it with other people. We carefully created a plan that included organizing and hosting our own events, but also participating in important happenings. We are grateful we had the chance to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds - children, students, academics, researchers, professionals, parents -, and benefit from one another; on the one hand, we introduced a wider audience to Synthetic Biology, which is still poorly communicated in Greece. On the other hand, these people affected us profoundly; their reactions, comments and questions were invaluable input that helped us observe our work from different viewpoints and reflect on how we can create something better, safer, ethical. Read more on our Education & Public Engagement page!
Although we realized right from the beginning that it was critical to work and develop a project in full compliance with the principles of Bioethics, this term was somehow vague in our minds. We, therefore, set out on a quest to explore this integral aspect of Science. We came in contact with the National Bioethics Commission and carried out a very fruitful interview with Dr. Mollaki, scientific advisor of the National Bioethics Commission, where we discussed about important bioethical concerns of our work and how we can guarantee that are efforts are made in the most responsible and ethical way possible. Bioethics has been a central discussion topic with other individuals - scientists, academics, entrepreneurs - we came in touch with and interviewed. As a fine recapitulation of the knowledge and insight we gained in Bioethics, we wrote a Bioethics Statement, which we wish will prove practical and meaningful for future iGEM teams and scientists! Read more on our Bioethics Statement page!
Describing how we integrated input from other people, events and situations in our project is actually describing how this input affected and changed the way we pursued our ultimate goal. As for this goal, we decided that, as a team, we would try to create something accessible; and “accessible” is a beautiful “umbrella” term that includes notions such as “reachable”, “obtainable”, “affordable” and “comprehensible”. In our journey to integrate these principles in all aspects of our projects, we utilized the inspiration, help, knowledge and suggestions we received! Read more on our Integrated Human Practices page!
Interviews have played a key role in our Human Practices. However, while doing our own research on the matter prior to carrying out our interviews, we realized there was no specific protocol used in conducting an interview or analyzing the data collected from it, at least in the iGEM Competition. In this context, we were motivated to create the AIDA protocol, a methodological Approach in Interviews & interview Data Analysis! We aspire for it to serve as a reference for future iGEM teams that wish to implement qualitative research in their projects! Read more on our AIDA protocol page!
Safety was a parameter we needed to take into serious consideration in order to reassure that our project would not affect neither us, nor possibly a wider community, or even the society in the future. Apart from making sure that our work is responsible and beneficial, investing in Safety serves the principal we focused on; accessibility. What’s more, in order to assist scientists and researchers, of all backgrounds and levels of experience, in easily determining whether they are working with safety, we created a Safety Checklist, that anyone can download and use! Read more about how we integrated Safety in our project and find the Safety Checklist on our Safety page!
One of the main reasons we decided to develop a project on aptamers, instead of other alternative ideas we had, is that we were impressed by the variety of possible applications! We meticulously tried to create something that can attract the interest of the Industry by designing a system that is cheap to build and maintain, safety, but also produces high quality aptamers/ products. In addition, we contacted people that could give us some insight on how entrepreneurship and industry work, and how they would react to a proposal such as ours. One of them was Dr. Papalois, a major figure in the scientific scene and pharmaceutical industry in Greece. To sum up all that we have collected on this topic, we included them in our business plan! Read more on our Entrepreneurship page!