Team:UT-Tokyo/HumanPractice May


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Questionnaires (May Festival)


May festival iGEM Japan

May Festival


We carried out "pre-iGEM Japan" to improve questions that we prepared for Human Practice iGEM Japan Project. Tokyo_Metropolitan took part in this project. We all used paper-based questionnaire during one of our university festival called Gogatsu-sai: May festival.

Targets, Terms, and Places

  • Students, Others
    • May festival - May 29, 30 at The University of Tokyo


  1. I. Please tell us if you have heard about the facts below.
    • 1. We genetically inherit some part of characters and natures from our parents.
      1. [Knew it / Didn’t know it]
    • 2. A gene decides which factors in one’s nature get passed down.
      1. [Knew it / Didn’t know it]
    • 3. One receives a half set of genes from each of his parents.
      1. [Knew it / Didn’t know it]
    • 4. Biodiversity is derived from how one inherits genes from his parents.
      1. [Knew it / Didn’t know it]
    • 5. Have you ever heard of the term ‘biodiversity’?
      1. [Yes / No]

  1. II. Please tell us if you have heard about the facts below.
    • 1. Genes are, so to speak, tiny pieces. Have you ever been amazed to think that something so complex as our body is consisted of such ‘tiny pieces’?
      1. [Yes, once for a while / Yes, upon hearing so / Never]
    • 2. Have you ever heard of the term ‘genetic modification’?
      1. [Yes / No]
    • 3. It is possible to genetically modify living organisms and make them newly produce some useful proteins for mankind. (It might be possible to produce medicines which is hard to manufacture through chemical reactions for low cost.) Assuming that a good medicine for a certain critical illness but producing it requires a certain proteins produced by genetically modified bacteria, would you take it?
      1. [Yes / No]
    • Why is this?
    • 4. Genetically modified crops are commercially available these days. By genetically modifying, we can develop crops with some special characters such as tolerance against winds, floods, and pests, or as richness in a certain nutrient. Which would you prefer, inexpensive, chemical-free modified crops or crops cultivated with conventional pesticides?
      1. [Genetically modified Crops / Conventional pesticides]
    • 5. Even though some groceries are labeled ‘no genetically modified organisms used’, it only means it contains less modified ingredients than 5%. Did you know the fact that the ‘Not Genetically Engineered’ products may actually contain modified food?
      1. [Yes / No]
    • 6. They feed most of the domestic animals including beef food containing genetically engineered crops. Did you know it?
      1. [Yes / No]
    • 7. Getting to know the fact above, how do you feel about eating meat?
      1. [It doesn’t matter / Feel uncomfortable / Unwilling to eat]
    • 8. Fuels like bioethanol are extracted from genetically modified crops. What do you think about the use of modified crops to get fuels?
      1. [No problem / Feel awkward / Dislike]
    • 9. Genetically modified plants can introduce new genes into wild-type plants around by spreading pollens and spores. It’s also possible that modified plants with high viability take over the ecological system, deriving the other wild-types away. What do you think about it?
    • 10. Do you think it is fine for researchers to proceed studying about genetically engineering technology if it’s simply for scientific use and if they will keep modified organisms inside the labs?
      1. [Yes / No]
    • 11. How do you feel if genetically engineering technology get developed enough to be available at markets?
      1. [Good / Not preferable]
    • 12. Do you think DNA introduced in one’s body as food would negatively affect his health?
      1. Why is this?


We drove this survey during May festival at The University of Tokyo.(100 samples)


I-1.jpg I-2.jpg I-3.jpg I-4.jpg I-5.jpg
II-1.jpg II-2.jpg II-3.jpg II-3 1.jpg II-3 2.jpg II-4.jpg II-5.jpg II-6.jpg II-7.jpg II-8.jpg II-10.jpg II-11.jpg II-12.jpg

Our result is too much to write all on this page. So we write only graphs on this page and upload all result data. In this questionnaire


The definition of genetic heredity and its features are known to almost everyone. However they are usually not knowledgeable on heredity at the population level and how this contributes to biodiversity. A possible cause is the current biology curriculum in high schools in Japan. For example they teach concentrating on a limited number of generations and with an emphasis on population genetics using equations. Then students learn the calculation without deep understanding. And it must be difficult to understand such phenomena for people who had not studied biology.

Many people said that they would take the medicine produced by genetically modified bacteria described in question 3. However three quarters of the people said that they would rather choose the medicine over death. These results indicate that people have ambiguous concerns about the safety of genetically-modified products and that they do not want to use them if possible. Therefore, it is more important to organize a framework that enables the public to accept it than to insist its safety.

The result that chemical-free modified crops is more acceptable than crops cultivated with conventional pesticides indicates that products originating in nature are more familiar to people than apparently artificial products such as chemical substances. However we cannot ignore the fact that more than 30% people said that they could not accept modified crops and 28.62% people did not respond.

Most consumers excessively trust the labels on genetically-modified food issued by the national agency and do not doubt it. Therefore the use of national agencies should be effective in acquiring reliability.

The results indicate that using genetically-modified crops as feed for domestic animals is more acceptable. So, people tend to think that it is not important that genetic modified crops are cultivated unless they eat the products.

We should thoroughly notify the public that genetically modified products are treated carefully under the regulation so as to avoid their diffusion to the environment.This is because many people are worried about them breeding with wild species. There was an opinion that we should use seeds that are sterile, but this conflicts with antitrust law. Meanwhile, public opinion will not interfere with the progress of scientific research and the development of products using genetic engineering technologies because these are well appreciated by the public.