Team:Edinburgh UG/Public Engagement


Microbiome of the UK

As part of a UK-wide collaboration by St. Andrews, we participated in an initiative to harvest real data about our country's soil, while also teaching young students about synthetic Biology. You can find out about our collaboration initiation.

We collaborated to host 2 events in Edinburgh, one at Currie Primary school, and one at the Edinburgh Zoo, aimed at sharing synthetic biology with primary aged children. You can find out more about St. Andrew’s Education initiative here.

We started both sessions with a discussion about bacteria. What are they? What do they do? Will they hurt us? Can we make them work for us? The children surprised us with their interest

The children collected soil samples for us. After transferring some of their samples into a bag for analysis by St. Andrews, they got to use a real PH strip on the rest to learn about how acidity might affect the microbes in the soil.

Our Team member Elsa led our outreach collaboration

We also spoke about DNA. After participating in a detergent DNA extraction experiment, the children got to take a look at their own strands of DNA!

Lastly, with their new found expertise in all things DNA and bacteria, we played a matching game with gel electrophoresis, nucleic acid sequences, and sequencing chromatograms.

They got the hang of things very quickly, the best score for time was less than a minute!

We want to thank the St. Andrews team for including us in this initiative and the Edinburgh Zoo and Primary school for this opportunity.

Further Public Engagement

Bench Talk

Our team was delighted to be interviewed for Benchling’s quarterly instalment ‘Benchtalk’. Benchling is a Life Sciences R&D cloud based information processing software which our team used to record our lab work and genetic designs.

Edinburgh University

We had the pleasure to be featured in our University News.

For 45 days, our team led a fundraising campaign on - an all-or-nothing crowdfunding platform for academic research. We had a great time interacting with academic and non-academics, from all over the world interested in our project, and providing lab-updates on our project throughout August and September. We want to thank the 26 backers who donated to our project, and allowed us to achieve 181% of our target! You can find the page here.

Experiment - Moving Science Forward. (2019). Enhancing hydrogen production in Rhodobacter sphaeroides for use as an economically viable biofuel. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Oct. 2019].

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