Synthetic Biology, iGEM and Academy Talks
We all dreamed of becoming scientists when we were young and there was someone who inspired us. Sometimes they are from our families, but mostly they are scientists who do amazing science. To inspire the people around the world, we invited scientists who are one of the best in their fields. We hope that we can see more people choosing science as their future career path after joining one of our livestreams. Thus, they can have the experience of being in an iGEM team as a high school, undergraduate or graduate student. As iGEM is one of the best and one of the only way to involve in research for high school and undergraduate students in Turkey, we hope that we can inspire people to do science and join iGEM.
We invited Randy Schekman, Elçin Ünal, Aubrey de Grey and Ahmet Yıldız to our Academy talks series where we did and livestreamed our Q&A’s with outstanding scientists and we also took questions from the audience. Our team believes that science communication and public engagement are a crucial part of science. In a country where there is almost no scientific communications, our team wanted to start a culture that will be continued by the next generation.
We shared our livestream links in our instagram and twitter accounts. Also for Aubrey de Grey, we shared our livestream link on Reddit and it got 123 upvotes!
Dr. Randy Schekman-Nobel Laureate in 2013 Physiology or Medicine
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells."[nobelprize.org]
Dr. Elçin Ünal-Berkeley University
Elçin Ünal is an assistant professor at UC Berkeley, Molecular & Cell Biology department. She works on the regulatory mechanisms and principles of meiotic differentiation. She is one of the most inspiring and enthusiastic biologists that come out of Turkey. We were greatly honoured and thrilled to have her with our team.
Dr. Aubrey de Grey-Gerontologist
Aubrey de Grey is an English gerontologist and a science author. He is known for the book “Ending Aging” that he co-authored. He is one of the pioneers of his field. Aside from being a great scientist, he is a public figure about the aging issue. Over the years, he gave one Ted, six Tedx and two Google talks. His vision of life is intriguing and must be taken seriously. We were greatly honoured to have him as a guest.
Assoc. Prof. Ahmet Yıldız
Ahmet Yıldız is an Associate Professor at University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the physics department. However, he has made great contributions to the transport within cells and cell motility. He is an interdisciplinary genius and we are honoured to have him with us.
Sharing science and knowledge is crucial to make progress. Every member of our team is aware of this fact. Therefore, we decided to make a concept which a team member shares an interesting article/topic about she or he has an interest in with the rest of the team. This is a great concept since our team members started to learn about science presentation with this way, and shared their visions about the topic they are presenting with the rest of the team. After each presentation, our team members asked their questions to the presenter and had a discussion about the article/topic. By this way, our team members were able to experience different opinions and visions about the same topic. Here is the list of Journal Club presentations that have been made, and links of some of them. We live-streamed our journal clubs on youtube so other people can practice reading articles and join our discussions.
Translation of Plasmids 101-Addgene
We as KU_ISTANBUL iGEM Team thought that the current Turkish Synthetic Biology sources are limited or expensive. So we decided to translate a great free guide “Plasmids-101 written by Addgene team. We picked some chapters which we thought are suitable for high school students from Addgene’s free e-book Plasmids-101 and translated it to Turkish. We picked the parts that can be suitable for high-school students to understand synthetic biology and didn’t include the parts that have too much detail for high-school students. We shared the pdf for non-commercial use with students from different schools and we discussed about synthetic biology in Burak Bora Hiigh School via zoom and we said them they can ask their questions about the book by communicating us with e-mail.
Burak Bora High School Presentation