What can synthetic biology do for us?

What can synthetic biology do for us? Usually iGEM teams perform human practices at the “local” level. Clearly, the reason for this is the possibility to repeatedly meet with people (patients, technical experts, lay public) and visit places related to the projects (e.g. hospitals, factories, polluted areas). We wanted to get a feeling of what kind of problems arise in different geographical areas. Therefore, we thought of using modern technology to connect ourselves with far away places, to ask people with different cultural and geographical background which local problems they wished synthetic biology could solve.

Since we could not afford to send one of our teammates around the globe shooting videos, we had to find delegates that were interested and committed enough to shoot the videos on our behalf in their communities. We are very thankful to Émer Hickey and Navaneethan who shot the videos for us in Ireland and India. We also decided to sketch a prototypical answer to one of the questions we received. The answer is only theoretical and no practical work was involved. The aim was to exemplify to the lay public how synthetic biologists approach and solve problems.