Designed Protein Degradation Method Based on
Trim21 And Nanobody -- Education&Engagement
Education & Engagement
This year, we made efforts to include people from different walks of life in shaping synthetic biology in different ways.
The lecturers and brochures for high school students were intended to expand their knowledge from basic life science to synthetic biology, some of whom showed great interest and were willing to be iGEMers in 2019. The speeches at streets inspired people with our innovative tool of protein degradation to cure fatal diseases like cancer and AD, and we got some positive feedbacks according to the survey. The e-game we released was designed to propagate our project in a simpler and more relaxing way. Players interested in it ranged from different ages and we received tips on modification. We also established our Wechat subscription to provide an interactive platform between our team members and essay readers. Through the essays related to iGEM competition and syn-bio knowledge about our project, the number of followers had been increasing and some offered us useful ideas during the conversations.
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Lectures in High School & Brochure Distribution
This year, our team walked into high schools to disseminate knowledge of synthetic biology. We delivered two lectures in the First High School of Changsha.
In the first lecture, Chuanyang Liu introduced the background of the birth of synthetic biology, the human genome project and the development history of converging technology, intending to expand students' knowledge from basic life science to synthetic biology and arouse their enthusiasm and interest in the latter one.
Expecting to expand influence of iGEM, Chenxing Sun introduced iGEM competition and gave students useful suggestions on participating as a high school team. He communicated with some of their teachers and students about specific issues such as organizing team members, choosing a project, doing experiment, as well as great harvest through iGEM. We were glad to hear that they were willing to gather their own iGEM team in 2019!
As one of the members in our team and student in this school, QianQian Tao shared her own experience of teaming with NUDTers. The students present raised many questions about details in competition. We also distributed brochures named SPACESHIP E.coli made by team OUC-China, hoping to increase publicity of synthetic biology.
Speeches at Streets & Survey
This year, we provide an innovative way of protein degradation, which can be developed as a brand-new option in curing diseases. We prepared and delivered speeches at streets about the causes, symptoms and curing methods (including traditional ones and new, potential ones) of tumor, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, trying to enhance people’s familiarities with these fatal diseases and inspire them with methods using synthetic biology. For example, we talked about traditional ways of cancer curing (chemotherapy, radiation and surgery), analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of them, compared these matters with “target therapy” and finally introduced our project, PR PREDATOR, to people.
Poster made by our team in street!
Questionnaires were given to passers-by！
Besides, we did a survey of people’s cognition of diseases mentioned above. We had collected 77 papery questionnaires and 51 ones online in total. After analyzing the data, we concluded that:
1. most people believed traditional cancer curing methods caused damage to normal cells. (Q4)
2. 71% of them thought targeting at proteins of tumor cells could be a new way in the future, and only 8% of them chose the injection way.(Q7)
3. only about 1/6 of people understand the mechanism of the degradation of abnormal intracellular proteins. (Q13)
4. people’s attitudes towards future application of PR PREDATOR varied, but were mainly positive or neutral, some of whom even provided cutting-edge information. (Q14)
Through the education at streets and the engagement with the public, we had a deeper and better-rounded understanding of tumor, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease which were posing threat to humans’ lives. By combining the academic knowledge with ordinary life and inspiring people with innovative curing methods, we believed that the future application of target therapy as well as our PR PRADATOR would be wider and could exert a greater influence in maintaining health.
Q4: Which of the disadvantages do you think is the biggest one of chemotherapy and radiation tools in cancer curing?
Q7: Which of the methods do you think can be a new way of curing tumor and cancer?
Q13: Do you understand the mechanism of the degradation of abnormal intracellular proteins?
Q14: What do you think of the application of PR PREDATOR in the future?
To spread the knowledge of synthetic biology and our project, we used the new media, Wechat Subscription, to provide an interactive platform for readers and us to communicate with each other. Actually, we wrote an article about basic knowledge of microRNA last year, and this year we promoted to establish our own Wechat Subscription – NUDTiGEM. We have updated essays about iGEM and our project including special events such as cooperation among teams and CCiC. The essays were written in a humorous style in narrating and in a rigorous style in propagating scientific knowledge, which could make it easy for people to read and get involved. By scanning the QR code and following us, people can look through our essays without limitations of time and space. Up to now, hundreds of people have clicked like on our essays and many of them offered tips on publicity of our project.
As was shown in the survey in street speech, many people were still confused with the mechanism of specific protein degradation, we posted a questionnaire in Wechat platform to achieve greater publicity. The questions included varied from basic knowledge of proteins in human cells to some challenging questions related to our project, which could educate people step by step.
E-game in Buildbox
Realizing that phone game is now becoming the most popular way to entertain and relax, we created the game "PR PREDATOR" available in Apple Store in order to spread the significance of Trim in our project. It was hard to design an intricate process into a single game and promote it to people who have no background information. To solve this, we chose the process about Trim finding Nanobody and ubiquitin as the main game. Before starting the game, players have access to the context. They can click the icon of the character and then the information will be showed. The origins of Trim, Nanobody and ubiquitin were explained by several pictures and simple illustration: transcription and translation were simplified into the transforming of single RNA and DNA strands, and amino acid. "Oligomerization", one function of Trim, was explained as "converting a mixture of small protein into big protein". The game is about Trim, the runner, which avoids touching enzyme and finds Nanobody, while picking up ubiquitin, the coin. When Trim finds Nanobody, the game screen will shift to another one demonstrating the result of this game, Trim combining with Nanobody and ubiquitin, degrading targeted protein.
Cancer now becomes the majority of people's primary concern. And Trim has a potential studying value for cancer treatment. We added this relationship into our context and players were impressed by it. Some of them expressed their support in their comments. So, to further improve the utility of Trim became our primary goal--use plasmids containing DNA sequence of Trim and Nanobody to inject, which can last longer in cell than previous methods.
In addition, because of the simplified explanation, many players found it pretty easy to understand these processes.
The app was uploaded in Apple Store on Oct. 11. By Oct. 14 24:00. It had been played 219 times.