Animated cartoons on synthetic biology and our project
To explain synthetic biology, we wanted to create simple and accessible ways to communicate. We created two complementary videos, one that explains what is synthetic biology and the other that presents our iGEM project. In our animated cartoon, the cell’s DNA is represented as the writing on a big book. Following the production of nucleases, our DNA-free bacterium has its book with white pages. However, there are still a few post-it notes, symbolizing RNA, that can allow the bacterium to perform a few more missions before it dies. The target audience is both adults with no biological experience and children. It was interesting to note the reaction of non-scientific public: while many children connected the creation of newly genetically engineered bacteria as a lego play, some adults immediately associated DNA modifications as something dangerous. Following these reactions, we added a section to our animated cartoon, that we are presenting here, on how our project addresses the issue of genetic containment.