Diversity and Inclusion
Synthetic Biology aims to create artificially engineered biological systems. To achieve that most synthetic biology projects synthesize or fuse proteins by the use of recombinant DNA technology. The connection between structural biology and synthetic biology starts right there. Understanding the structure, connection and interaction between proteins is critical to design biologically engineered systems. To do that, synthetic biology harnesses the power of structural biology. Structural biology needs synthetic biology in an equal manner as structural biologists need to design plasmids to produce proteins in high yield. They need to produce high amounts of proteins to crystallize them. Using the optimal plasmid structure for recombinant protein production is key to success for structural biologists.
We work in a structural biology laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Hasan Demirci. What we wanted to do as the KU ISTANBUL team is to spread our knowledge among the high school students who don’t have enough knowledge about structural biology and Molecular Biology. Also what we realised is that most of the high school students in Turkey don’t have access to quality English education in Turkey. In 2019 English proficiency index rankings, Turkey stands in #79 out of 100 countries in the world and #32 out of 33 countries in Europe. [https://www.ef.com.tr/epi/regions/europe/turkey/]
What we decided to do is to create a video series in which we create guides on Structural biology tools such as PyMOL, Coot, ProtParam; alignment tools such as Jalview; databases for multiple uses such as PDB. We also included structural biologists from Turkey and their experiences in structural biology, Structural biology PhD students’ experiences in both undergraduate and graduate schools, NMR expert’s experiences to help students understand molecular biology and structural biology and consider them when making future career choices after high school. Our playlist!
Our youtube channel reached 100 subscribers and our Structural Biology Video Series had a total of 2800 views.
To experiment who we can reach other than high school students, we ran a google ad of our first video of Structural Biology 101. We ran the ad for 3 days for a total cost of 11 dollars. Our introductory video had 12.9k impressions and 1.3k views as a total!