Team:USTC Software/human practice


As a tutor game aimed at improving the understanding and facilitating IGEM and synthetic biology, iGAME itself is exactly a great way of human practice. With iGAME, people do not feel any distance to synthetic biology any more. Actually, it is time for everyone to join this trend to be as cool as Sheldon’s new biologist girlfriend. However, we do not stop here. We paid great effort to the safety issue and we have been dedicated to improving the knowledge of synthesis biology from classes and tried to share the part we contribute to the worldwide. We innovatively plot a new way of spreading the spirits of IGEM by starting our own community and we will never stop sharing and communicating.

--Luojun Wang, author of USTC_SOFTWARE human practice

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Human Practice,"the C project"

Although we do software, we also keep eyes on promotion of synthetic biology and sharing our own program. Therefore, we started a long term human practice, “the C project”, since this summer.“the C project”, as we call, consists of three parts: Curriculum, Communication and Community.


As a IGEM team, we try to let people as many as possible to know what synthetic biology is. Therefore, advisors of our team, Haiyan Liu and Jiong Hong, have established a set of synthesis biology curriculum this summer. We have done many works related to human practice on the curriculum.

  1. Jiong Hong (in the right picture), advisor of our team, gave lectures introducing safety and ethnics issues of synthetic biology.
  2. Luojun Wang (in the head picture), members of our team, gave lectures promoting iGAME.
  3. A survey* on how students know about synthetic biology and their interests for tutor game was made.(*the survey statistics comes from a sample of 240 students. Numbers of undergraduates, masters and PhDs are 160, 60 and 20)
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Analysis of the results of the survey The first chart shows students' favorite game types for iGAME, and the second chart shows their knowledge of IGEM project.

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The Circos Map
We tried many methods to plot our survey more straightforwardly and clearly before we finally chose Circos Circos is biological software used to plot genome elements and relationship. Here, we innovatively used Circos to demonstrate our survey.(as in the right picture) Circos is somehow like pie chart yet it can present multi information as all the statistics are proportional and clear on the graph.

In the graph, there are three circles. The inner circle stands for their knowledge of synthetic biology, and middle circle stands for their interests of iGame. Deeper the color is, the more they know of synthetic biology or the more they are interested in iGame. For example, light pink means they know little about synthetic biology and deep green means they are very interested of the coming tutor games. The outer circle, however, stands for their major;light green for biology major and light orange for other majors. As the graph shows, synthetic biology is still new to them as the majority have little idea of it, for which is what we will continue our project in the future. However, we are delighted to see that their interests of tutor game are fairly strong.

Referring to the possible game types, adventure and strategy games are students’ favorite, while some of them prefer stimulation and action games. In our program, we tried our best to listen to their voice and develop a game which is both educational and appealing.

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We’d like to share what we have achieved with the world, so we did and will do a great deal to communicate with others and learn. For example, we collaborate closely with USTC wet team to learn what biology majors think of iGame and improve. Several seminars have been hold to make sure our program can really help the promotion of both synthesis biology and our tutor game. In addition, further transnational communication is not absent, like we had a deep talk with Dr. Joy Yueyue Zhang*(*BIOS Centre, London School of Economics and Politics Science) on how our program can change the development of both IGEM and make biology a better subject.

Yet we do not stop here. We have sent emails to other teams for further communications and asked for their opions on how we can improve iGame. What is more, all our codes are shared on github[1](in the right picture). With fixes and new features putting forward every day,any one in any corner of the world can learn and keep update of our work, not just from the surface, but from codes and essense of our work. This is really a great way of communication, for we do not have to say too much to put our achieves across to those who really want to know our work, which really works. Great contributions have been given through github and we get a lot of advices and opinions as well.

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To better promote synthesis and the spirit of IGEM, we decided to establish a community together with IGEM USTC team. For the community, we have set regular classes and lectures for both synthesis biology and IGEM. We also open our laboratory to our community members and teach them basic skills of biology experiment(as in the right picture), like PCR. Of course, this is the main field we will update our progress on in the future.

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More information of our community and other human practice of USTC IGEM team, please click2010 USTC IGEM humanpractice!