During my internship at the Institute of Marine Science (ICM) from the Superior Council of Scientific Research (CSIC), I had the opportunity to carry out a talk on synthetic biology and our project in iGEM at the weekly meeting of the Department of Marine Biology and Oceanography.
I had an audience composed by biologists and marine scientists from diverse fields of study and years of experience, some of them related to molecular biology.
My talk started with a general introduction to synthetic biology as a science, definition and history. I connected my speech to the importance of outreach activities and worldwide brainstorming campaigns, such as international student contests such as iGEM. I explained what iGEM was all about, and how students get enrolled and develop really original projects and biological parts for building systems.
I finally came to the part where I talked about our team’s heterogeneity of disciplines, and explained the different ideas we came up at the birth of our iGEM team, and how we ended up choosing the one we are now developing. I made a general overview on the idea, the objectives, the construct, the theory, the applications and the future vision.
The interactive time was mainly composed of questions directed to the functioning of the consortium in different situations, and how quorum sensing worked between species. It also drifted to questions about how efficient was the system and how could we optimize it in the future.
Controversial opinions on the application of synthetic ecology, triggered the arrangement of a debate the next month with a larger group of scientists specialized on ecology, at a meeting called the Margalef Hour at the same institute. Here we discussed some recent papers on the origins, function and applications of ecologic-interaction-engineering as a sprouting branch of synthetic biology.