Team:Newcastle/Public Engagement

Alternative Roots

Alternative Roots



Great Exhibition of the North

On the 12th July, Heather Bottomley (team member of Newcastle iGEM 2018) presented at ‘The Future of Nature: Engineering living systems with synthetic biology’ talk run by Ángel Goñi Moreno as part of the Great Exhibition of the North Programme. The presentation was regarding our team’s plan to engineer root-colonising microbes for the production of flavonoids that would attract nitrogen-fixing bacteria to increase the uptake of nitrogen by the plant. Following this, questions were asked by scientific professionals and members of the public regarding its safety, regulation as a GMO, its containment in the fields and possible other applications of this technology.

School of Engineering Talk

Luke and Umar gave a talk to the new students in the School of Engineering on the 24th of September. The talk was very useful in helping the team create a narrative and format for the presentation in Boston. The presentation was personalised to the audience of engineers, focusing not just on the iGEM competition and Synthetic Biology in general but also how it relates to engineering and we discussed our hydroponics system as an example of potential engineering applications. Afterwards, we stayed behind to answer some questions from the students - there was substantial interest in the hydroponics and the application of engineering in Synthetic Biology.

European Researchers' Night

The Great North Museum were kind enough to let us set up a stand at the European Researchers' Night. This was a chance for researchers from a variety of fields to explain their projects to enthusiastic members of the public. We explained the basic premise of our project as well as our Victoria Tunnel Urban Farm vision. This was a chance to see how the public felt about the scheme. We also took the opportunity to ask how people felt about GMOs and if they felt our project was tackling the stigma surrounding them. We conducted a survey to record the views of visitors, see gallery below.

1 / 14
2 / 14
3 / 14
4 / 14
5 / 14
6 / 14
7 / 14
8 / 14
9 / 14
10 / 14
11 / 14
12 / 14
13 / 14
14 / 14

References & Attributions

Attributions: Chris Carty, Umar Farooq, Lewis Tomlinson, Will Tankard, Heather Bottomley, Connor Trotter and Patrycja Ubysz