Team:Tokyo Tech/Human Practices

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Human Practice

Human Practice

Communication with Society
This year, we tried to jump into as many chances as possible to learn more about role and value of Finding Flavi – dengue virus serotype prediction and detection systems.

Lecture (Silver)

We had a lecture in Koshigaya-Kita high school.  We proposed a model game of dengue infection and compared  with our simulation of the game.


Integrated (Gold)

We can proudly say our integrated human practices helped us modify our trajectory of the Finding Flavi.



Collaboration with other iGEM team stimurated our Team. Trough collaboration activity, we both can have some proceed and better description about the project of each.  

Our journey

We discussed with a former dengue patients, virologists and other biologists. In each activities, we realized new perspectives. This is the flow chart that shows our history and progress with Finding Flavi.

Interview with former patient

We met a dengue patient who entered hospital in Republic of the Philippines.

In the hospital I was investigating the symptoms of severe dengue from the amount of platelets, so the patient are drawn their bleed twice a day.

We knew that dengue fever is one of the common disease in tropical countries and that have no specific treatment. Although the number of dead is relativity small, Dengue is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Dialogue with Dr. Nukuzuma  

We heard about infection mechanism and symptom.

Infection with different Dengue types causes the severe sympton.

We discussed ADV & DA of current methods. 

Dengue Type Prediction Model 

We decided to predict the number of patients in the near future with suitable methods.

Our advisor, Dr. Nishida taught us about how to extract patterns from time-series data. 

Dialogue with Dr. Suzuki 

“We need to collect more data to increase the model’s accuracy.”

He suggested us that we should refer to the system he has developed and develop a new system with fluorescence protein. 

Dengue Type Detection System 

We decided to develop the system to identify which Dengue type the patient is infected with.

We use different fluorescence protein for each Dengue type so that we can identify it by color at the end. 

Outreach Activities 

We have been engaged with outreach activities to improve the current situation that dengue fever is regarded as one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases. 

Meeting with Dr. Nukuzuma

 (City of Kobe, Environment and Health Research Lab., JPN)

As a virologist, Dr. Nukuzuma has done research on infectious virus for many years. Based on his experience, he taught us about all about flavivirus - genetic and phenotypic features, potential risks, obstacles that current clinical methods have. Those advices were so valuable for us to start thinking about the direction of our project design. After this meeting with Dr. Nukuzuma, we decided to work on serotype prediction of dengue virus.

Presentation about Finding Flavi

Discussion with Dr. Nukuzuma

Discussion with Dr. Nishida 

(Post-doctoral researcher at Yamamura Lab., Tokyo Institute of Technology, JPN)

We started to search for the previous raw data on the number of dengue fever patients for each serotype, and found one dataset released from QSNICH (Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health), that shows relative sampling frequency of each DENV serotype over 30 years.

We showed this dataset to Dr. Nishida. He told us that this kind of infection data shows the regularity, and suggested us that we should use empirical differential modeling method to extract the pattern and predict the change in the near future.

As a result, we developed the model to predict relative sampling frequency of each DENV serotype. However, though we successfully applied the model for the data in Bangkok, due to the lack of similar detailed public data, we could not establish robust and versatile model for some other affected areas. 

Meeting with Dr. Suzuki 

(Department of Virology II, National Institute of Infectious Diseases)

We met Dr. Suzuki after establishing the prediction model. He has done research on flavivirus for many years and he gave us advice to solve the lack of public data. He introduced existing detection methods for dengue virus to us and also mentioned both advantages and disadvantages that those methods have.

He has developed a new detection method for the virus with luciferase and neutralization assay and explained us about the specific mechanism and protocol.

Meeting with Dr. Tagawa

After meeting Dr. Suzuki, we brought back what he talked about to the lab and had discussion with our PI, Dr. Tagawa, based on the advice from Dr. Suzuki. Dr. Tagawa has a wide range of expertise on virology and cellular engineering. He suggested that we should modify a part of the new method that Dr. Suzuki has developed. After all, we decided to modify his method by substituting luciferase for fluorescence protein and designed a new detection method.


We visited Koshigaya-Kita High School in Saitama Prefecture on September 15th and held an event.
There were two things that we wanted to tell in this event.

Lecture in Koshigaya-Kita High School

Simulation Game Inspired by dengue

1. About dengue fever
In Japan, in 2014, dengue infected people occurred in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo, and it became a big topic. However, there are not many people who know more about their nature. As the climate of Japan are changing, it is said that the number of infected people in Japan will increase greatly. We aimed to have high school students acquire correct knowledge about dengue, which is the theme of this project.

We explained about dengue fever and played games to deepen understanding about mosquito-borne diseases. The students were divided to the mosquito team and the human team divide. In the game, the virus spreads like 

human → mosquito → another human being.
The students enjoyed very much and participated in the game!
2. About research at university
In the process of research, thinking into one problem with various approaches is very important. However, high school, subjects, such as biology, physics, chemistry, geography etc... are separated very clearly, and it is not easy to think with connecting them together. So, we explained that we are progressing the project from both sides of Wet and Dry.

We played games on the spread of infection, but we compared the results with computer simulation results. Although our research is synthetic [biology], I think that you have experienced how important the simulation plays.
The results of the questionnaire written by the students are as follows.

What grade are you in?


Are you studing biology?


Waht kind of subject are you interested in?


Was the game fun?


In the end of our lecture in high school, We asked participants for their opinion.
We assumed that each participant had some notice from our lecture.

"Although the result of the game did not make much difference, it was fun to have an event that you can experience."

"Activity of iGEM seemed to be very fun. I thought it was wonderful that what I could do was not only biology but also information and programming. Good luck on your international competition."

"I was thrilled by the game. I thought that it is also interesting to change all four kinds of initial numbers by using all four if there are more people together with that time."


2 Chome-12-1
Ookayama, Meguro, Tokyo