Team:BGU Israel/Practices

Team:BGU Israel

Practices & Policies

"Human Practices is the study of how your work affects the world, and how the world affects your work." — Peter Carr, Director of Judging

The PP group worked and cooperated with the research team in order to develop, communicate, and create a diverse and creative project. It was important for us to include in our project topics such as ethics, culture, society, and accessibility of information to the general public in an unusual way. The purpose of the PP activities was to answer questions on various subjects that will integrate with the laboratory work. We did our best to invest our time and energy in a real long-lasting contribution.

Key Achievements

  • Increased accessibility to information about synthetic biology by arranging unique events
  • Creation of a dialogue with the industry experts to improve our project
  • Successful collaborations with iGEM teams
  • Collaboration and advice panels with leading experts in cancer research, synthetic biology, and bioethics
Culture and education
Public outreach
Ethics and philosophy

Collaboration with other iGEM teams
Collaboration and panels

Social events
Special meetings and experts:

Education and Public Engagement

Culture and education

School workshop

Exposing children to science is crucial for creating the next generation of researchers and their supporters. Therefore, we wanted to make sure that we reach not only adults but children and teenagers as well, to get them thinking at an early age about synthetic biology and the challenges and possibilities it offers.

On the morning of 18th June, members of our iGEM team gave a lecture at Degania school (Hebrew-Arabic bilingual school). They taught 5&6 grade class and were amazed from the level of questions and knowledge they demonstrated! They introduced the basic knowledge of Synthetic Biology to the students. Afterwards, they divided the class to 2 groups and played a quiz game (the winning group received a prize). We ended the workshop with an experiment on growing bacteria, using the bacteria they naturally have on their hands.

They were curious about the biology world and asked many questions related to our work. Throughout all of our activities we consulted with iGEM BGU alumni polices & practices team. They advised us to use the great "SynBio Activity Kit for Kids" (iGEM BGU 2013), that includes detailed explanation about the activities plus all materials needed.


Synthetic and Computational Biology Mixer convention

Hosted by Innovation Endeavors

On July 7th, we participated in Synthetic and Computational Biology Mixer Convention that was held in Tel-Aviv, and was hosted by Innovation Endeavors - early stage VC co-founded by Eric Schmidt (Google executive chairman). We presented our project in front of entrepreneurs, researchers, and students.

Public outreach


On June 9th and September 20 we were interviewed by two of the leading radio channels in Israel. (South radio 101.5FM, Reshet-Bet 95.5 FM).
We explained about synthetic biology, and presented our project.

Social networks (FB, Twitter)

In addition to reaching out to people based locally and across the country, we wanted to communicate with people on a global scale. To achieve this; we utilized Facebook and Twitter to reach fellow iGEM teams, friends, family and indeed anybody who is interested in what we had to say! We posted news articles, updates on our progress, and more.

In total, we gained 3,674 followers on Facebook, and 214 followers on Twitter.
The majority of people who liked us on Facebook were based in Israel, but we also had plenty of ‘likes’ from people all across the globe.


We invested a lot of time and effort in a short video animation that will allow us to reach the widest audience possible. For many people, synthetic biology might be scary, difficult, and complicated. Through a video, we might be able to show these people a new point of view of synthetic biology, and allow them to visualize our idea and create an exciting adventure in their mind. In the video we also explained about the iGEM competition and our project.


The project was covered in:

- Ynet News- the most popular news website in Israel,
link to the article. (Hebrew)

- NRG News- news website in Israel, link to the article. (Hebrew)

- Rotter- popular news website in Israel, link to the article. (Hebrew)

- University main web

- Hayadaan- We also appeared in Israel’s biggest science news website link to the article. (Hebrew)

- Podcast- Making History with Ran Levi

- zigmond- Israeli student website, link to the article. (Hebrew)


We launched an external website.

Social events

Science on the Bar

On September 9th we held a lecture at a bar in Tel Aviv, according to the concept of "science on the bar" which is very trendy in Israel. We explained about synthetic biology, IGEM, and the Boomerang project.
In addition, there was a performance by a stand-up comedian, Eyal Eltawil, who recovered from cancer. He created a stand-up act about his life with the disease and his personal experience.


We attended various conferences and discussions.

  • We presented at the Synthetic and Computational Biology Mixer Convention.
  • Lectured to Monash-Ben Gurion Universities Entrepreneurship Program Students.
  • We presented at YEI (Young Entrepreneurs Israel) convention. YEI is the leading organization in Israel providing extra curriculum entrepreneurial education for youth of all social classes and segments. Providing the youth with entrepreneurial knowledge and experience creates a solid foundation for Israel’s future economic progress.
  • On September 9th, We were invited along with the other Israeli iGEM teams to the Technion - Mini Jamboree Event.
    Here, each team presented their project, and a panel of judges asked questions and gave tips for improvement and better preparation for the Giant Jamboree in Boston.

Collaboration with other iGEM teams

France-Aix-Maseille, Questioner

Aix-Marseille Université (France), proposed a collaboration. They needed to collect a lot of information about chewing-gum and GMOs around the world. Since we love chewing-gum we immediately decided to participate. They prepared a small survey, and we went to the country streets and interviewed random people. It was a fun challenge. We received a gold badge for our help.

China-Amoy university, article

Amoy university issued monthly newsletter. We had the honor to collaborate and publish an article about our project in the fifth issue of 2015 Newsletter.

Israel-Technion, Mini Jamboree

On September 9th, We were invited along with the other Israeli iGEM teams to the Technion - Mini Jamboree Event.
Here, each team presented their project, and a panel of judges asked questions and gave tips for improvement and better preparation for the Giant Jamboree in Boston.

Collaboration and panels

Round table

Mentors and advisors are one of the most valuable resources a young researcher/entrepreneur should tap into. The idea of launching a project should no longer be a scary or daunting experience, riddled with unknowns. It should be a collaborative experience accumulating the knowledge of the hundreds of experts who have already built successful endeavors, and can help you move faster and avoid known pitfalls based on their years of experience.

Therefore, from the very beginning we engaged experts who have a deep understanding of cancer in order to ensure that our project is addressing a real need and it is designed properly to potentially address it in the future. On May we organized a roundtable discussion with the leading researchers from the fields of cancer diagnostics and therapy, genetics and synthetic biology.
We managed to bring together the following experts:
Prof. Roni Apte, Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics expert

Prof. Etta Livneh, Immunology and Genetics expert

Dr. Ayelet David, Cancer, Nano-medicine, Polymers, Pharmacology expert

Dr. Noam Levaot ,Physiology, Cell and Synthetic Biology expert


Special meetings

Chief Scientist Office at the Ministry of Health

We presented the details of our project to other scientists, in order to raise awareness of the field of synthetic biology and incite constructive discussions regarding the scientific specifications of our project. Meeting with Chief Scientist Office (Ministry of Health) - We met with Dr. Ami Ben-Yehuda, Director of the Department of Medical Research. He gave us highlights and insights for research and presentation. The meeting was very fruitful and interesting, and helped us with our research.

University President, Rector and Deans

In order to expose our project in Israel in general and in our university in particular, and in order to raise funds, we've met with the President of the university, Prof. Rivka Carmi, and the Rector, Prof. Zvi Hacohen. Both emphasized the importance of the multidisciplinary approach and the promising idea of our project, and provided significant funds for the continuation of the project. In addition, we've met with the Deans of various faculties, to whom we presented the project and its importance for promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and involvement of students beyond the curriculum. The Deans were happy to see that their faculty and students involved in such a unique and important project, and have provided additional funds for the project.

Director of Oncology Department, Soroka Medical Center

Meeting with Prof. Samuel Ariad, the director of Oncology Department in Soroka Medical Center. We presented our project and received valuable scientific advice and clinical outlook.

Head of Sheba Cancer Research Center

Prof. Gidi Rechavi is a world renowned cancer researcher, and the head of Sheba Cancer Research Center. Prof. Rechavi was the first expert to advise us on our invention, and helped us to refine our technology and to recognize its strengths and weaknesses.

CEO of Genome Compiler

Dr. Omri Amirav-Drori is the CEO of Genome Compiler, and an expert in the fields of Synthetic Biology and genetic engineering. The company he heads supplies a comprehensive set of tools for DNA design & visualization, data management and collaboration for genetic engineers, molecular and synthetic biologists. Dr. Amirav-Drori advised us on the technical aspects of our invention, regarding component design, synthesis methods, tools and more.