Consulting with an expert
We visited SGK (Social Security Agency) to compare the feasibility of current methods for curing gastric cancer&ulcer and our solution for curing them. This corporation is responsible of public’s health assurance so we hoped to get some information about expenses spent on H. Pylori treatment and cancer. As we already knew, there is antibiotic medication for ulcer treatment and radiotherapy&chemotherapy for cancer. Triple antibiotic treatment is not completely effective, also H. Pylori develops antibiotic resistance against to this. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy costs thousands of dollars, and still not 100% effective. Their side effects sometimes can give more damage to the patient more than cancer does. To find out what could happen if our project showed up as a medicine in the market, we asked pharmacologist Hüseyin Kılıçarslan;
Q: How long does it take to apply our Project on real medication and treatments? Does it have a potential to be used in future?
A:A normal medicine’s license process can take up to 8-10 years. As your Project is containing some parts which could count as ‘bioproducts’, this process could take a little longer time, maybe fifteen years. Bioproduct means a different kind of medication. We can describe them as the drugs including cells, enzymes, hormones exc. different than normal chemical-including pills. The E. Coli you modified in your Project could be bioproduct. unfortunately Turkey isn’t able to produce any bioproducts, they are importend.
A bioproduct like yours, must be tested carefully in many steps. During that process,after you make experiments in vitro, in vivo and on rats, you probably will throw a big part of your results. You must make sure that your machine serves you as you want it to be. When it comes to human trials, your volunteers must have very special requirements to be tested. Even if you start right now, it wouldn’t take less than 10-15 years. Yet this is the way science works.
Q:How much money spent on H. Pylori treatment every year? Does our project seem to be more economical than the current drugs?
Q:Do you wanna make any other comments on this and give us some advices?
A:The thing you are doing is really cool and admirable. It’s so nice that you guys are trying to build your project by keeping in mind its economical features too. When a medicine trial shows up, their expense datas don’t be enough in general; your caution is a good work in this aspect. I hope you will be very successful.
Going public: iGEM for little kids
This afternoon, a group of little kids appeared on our lab’s door, looking inside carefully and covering their faces because they were scared of being contaminated. It took a while us to convince them that our bacteria is for only labs, not as scary as they think. Then the mixer of our precious video, Şahika, asked them to watch our video. They watched it carefully and Şahika explained them some parts of it. The kids were definitely impressed by our video! After this, they wanted to do some experiments so we made them wearing gloves and they transferred some Milli-Q from falcon tubes to eppendorfs.
More important than anything else, these kids said “We wanna be scientists when we grow up! We hope you be successful! Can we come for doing experiments tomorrow, too?” this time we all realized one of the reasons we do synthetic biology is to show people how to serve humankind. We were glad that we inspired them, hopefully they never lose their science love.