Team:Edinburgh/Human/Communication

From 2010.igem.org

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<a name="Communication" id="Communication"></a><h2>Communication of Science - Terminology Research</h2><br>
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<a name="Communication" id="Communication"></a><h2>Communication of Science: Terminology research</h2><br>
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As part of our investigations into the communication of science we did the task of gathering a set of terms from synthetic biology as well as a few questions to assess some attitudes to open sourcing and awareness of synthetic biology. Below are the definitions of those terms we agreed upon. This discussion within the team, between engineers, biologists, informaticians and a designer, was the start of analysing how easy it is for terms to be misunderstood. From this we gained an understanding of how each of us thought about these terms and this idea is then extended to the various disciplines involved in our team, the team's peers to lecturers with various knowledge of iGEM and synthetic biology.
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<p>As part of our <a href="http://2010.igem.org/Team:Edinburgh/Human">investigations</a> into the <b>communication</b> of science we tasked ourselves with gathering a set of terms from synthetic biology, as well as a few questions to assess <b>attitudes</b> to open sourcing and awareness of synthetic biology. Below are the <b>definitions</b> of those terms we agreed upon.</p>
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More about communication of science can be found in the report in 'further thoughts'.
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<p><b>Agreed term definitions </b><br>
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<b>Biobricks</b> – DNA sequence with defined structure, function and standardised ends for use in easy assembly. <br>
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<p>This <b>discussion</b> within the team, between engineers, biologists, informaticians, and a designer, was the start of <b>analysing</b> how easy it is for terms to be <b>misunderstood</b>. From this we gained an <b>understanding</b> of how each of us thought about these terms, and this <b>idea</b> was then extended outwards to the various <b>disciplines</b> involved in our team, from the team's peers to their lecturers, each with varying degrees of <b>knowledge</b> regarding iGEM and synthetic biology.</p>
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<b>Vector</b> – tool made of genetic material used to transfer foreign genetic material into a cell. <br>
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<p>More about <b>communication of science</b> can be found in the <a href="http://2010.igem.org/Team:Edinburgh/Results#Human">report</a>.</p><br><br>
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<b>Plasmid backbone</b> – circular vector with selection marker capable of holding a DNA insert. <br>
 
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<b>Assembly</b> – combination of parts to create a whole. <br>
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<h3>Agreed term definitions:</h3><br>
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<b>Chassis</b> – cell used to house and hold parts together, providing an environment for propagation and function. <br>
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<p><b>BioBricks</b> – DNA sequence with defined structure, function and standardised ends for use in easy assembly.</p>
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<p><b>Vector</b> – tool made of genetic material used to transfer foreign genetic material into a cell.</p>
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<p><b>Plasmid backbone</b> – circular vector with selection marker capable of holding a DNA insert.</p>
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<p><b>Assembly</b> – combination of parts to create a whole.</p>
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<p><b>Chassis</b> – cell used to house and hold parts together, providing an environment for propagation and function.</p>
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<p><b>Open sourcing</b> – Principle of access to source information and/or materials without obstacles of copyright or profit making.</p>
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<p><b>Digestion</b> – process of chemically breaking down larger molecules into smaller parts. <p><b>Registry of Standard Biological Parts</b> – catalogue of Biobricks and their characterisation and categorisation information.</p>
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<p><b>Engineering</b> – Practical application of scientific and mathematical principles.</p>
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<p><b>Synthetic</b> – made through a process that alters naturally occurring material.</p>
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<p><b>Protein</b> – molecule made from one or more amino acid chains with a specific 3D structure and function, made by and required for life.</p>
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<p><b>DNA</b> - Deoxyribonucleic acid. No simple definition despite common beliefs eg. code of life. Contains chain made up of four bases of ACTG, the sequence of which can contain information.</p><br>
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<b>Open sourcing</b> – Principle of access to source information and/or materials without obstacles of copyright or profit making.<br>
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<p>Below are some examples of some of the responses from this academic probe.</p>
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<b>Digestion</b> – process of chemically breaking down larger molecules into smaller parts. <br>
 
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<b>Registry of standard biological parts</b> – catalogue of Biobricks and their characterisation and categorisation information.<br>
 
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<b>Engineering</b> – Practical application of scientific and mathematical principles.<br>
 
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<b>Synthetic</b> – made through a process that alters naturally occurring material. <br>
 
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<b>Protein</b> – molecule made from one or more amino acid chains with a specific 3D structure and function, made by and required for life.<br>
 
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<b>DNA</b> - Deoxyribonucleic acid. No simple definition despite common beliefs eg code of life.<br>
 
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Contains chain made up of four bases of ACTG.
 
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This sequence can contain information.
 
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Below are some examples of what was returned from this academic probe.
 
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<h2>Conclusions</h2><br>
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<p>This questionnaire <b>illustrates</b> well the <b>ambiguities</b> that lie within the <b>language</b> of synthetic biology in particular and science in general. So it's not just being able to <b>discuss</b> science with the 'average Joe', it's about both the obvious <b>jargon</b> and also the <b>subtleties</b> of the meanings of terms used in various ways in different scientific <b>fields</b>. The questions still remain: how much do the non-professionals from a particular discipline need to <b>know</b>, how much can they really <b>understand</b>, and how much effort should be put in to help 'outsiders' comprehend the <b>complexities</b> involved in the practice of various scientific disciplines such as synthetic biology?</p>
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<p>Again, more about the problems in <b>communicating</b> in the language of science can be found in the <a href="http://2010.igem.org/Team:Edinburgh/Results#Human">report</a>.</p>
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<h2>conclusions</h2>
 
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This questionaire illustrates well the ambiguities that lay within the language of synthetic biology and science in general. So its not just being able to discuss science with the 'average joe' its about both the obvious jargon but also the subtleties of the meanings of terms used in various ways in different scientific fields. The questions still remains, how much do the non-professionals from a particular discipline need to know, how much can they really understand and how much effort should be put in to help 'outsiders'comprehend the complexities involved in the practice of various scientific disciplines such as synthetic biology?<br>
 
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More about the problems in communicating the language of science can be found in the report.
 
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<center><a href="#top" class="dir"><img width="100" src="http://2010.igem.org/wiki/images/9/9f/Ed10-RTT.png"></a></center>
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<span style="color:ivory;">Throughout this wiki there are words in <b>bold</b> that indicate a relevance to <b>human aspects</b>. It will become obvious that <b>human aspects</b> are a part of almost everything in <b>iGEM</b>.</span>
<span style="color:ivory;">Throughout this wiki there are words in <b>bold</b> that indicate a relevance to <b>human aspects</b>. It will become obvious that <b>human aspects</b> are a part of almost everything in <b>iGEM</b>.</span>

Latest revision as of 03:20, 28 October 2010







Communication of Science: Terminology research


As part of our investigations into the communication of science we tasked ourselves with gathering a set of terms from synthetic biology, as well as a few questions to assess attitudes to open sourcing and awareness of synthetic biology. Below are the definitions of those terms we agreed upon.

This discussion within the team, between engineers, biologists, informaticians, and a designer, was the start of analysing how easy it is for terms to be misunderstood. From this we gained an understanding of how each of us thought about these terms, and this idea was then extended outwards to the various disciplines involved in our team, from the team's peers to their lecturers, each with varying degrees of knowledge regarding iGEM and synthetic biology.

More about communication of science can be found in the report.



Agreed term definitions:


BioBricks – DNA sequence with defined structure, function and standardised ends for use in easy assembly.

Vector – tool made of genetic material used to transfer foreign genetic material into a cell.

Plasmid backbone – circular vector with selection marker capable of holding a DNA insert.

Assembly – combination of parts to create a whole.

Chassis – cell used to house and hold parts together, providing an environment for propagation and function.

Open sourcing – Principle of access to source information and/or materials without obstacles of copyright or profit making.

Digestion – process of chemically breaking down larger molecules into smaller parts.

Registry of Standard Biological Parts – catalogue of Biobricks and their characterisation and categorisation information.

Engineering – Practical application of scientific and mathematical principles.

Synthetic – made through a process that alters naturally occurring material.

Protein – molecule made from one or more amino acid chains with a specific 3D structure and function, made by and required for life.

DNA - Deoxyribonucleic acid. No simple definition despite common beliefs eg. code of life. Contains chain made up of four bases of ACTG, the sequence of which can contain information.



Below are some examples of some of the responses from this academic probe.




     



     


     






Conclusions


This questionnaire illustrates well the ambiguities that lie within the language of synthetic biology in particular and science in general. So it's not just being able to discuss science with the 'average Joe', it's about both the obvious jargon and also the subtleties of the meanings of terms used in various ways in different scientific fields. The questions still remain: how much do the non-professionals from a particular discipline need to know, how much can they really understand, and how much effort should be put in to help 'outsiders' comprehend the complexities involved in the practice of various scientific disciplines such as synthetic biology?

Again, more about the problems in communicating in the language of science can be found in the report.




Throughout this wiki there are words in bold that indicate a relevance to human aspects. It will become obvious that human aspects are a part of almost everything in iGEM.