Innovating research, policy and education in synthetic and systems biology

A fuzzy felt festival of science

An enthusiastic gang of SynthSys researchers took synthetic biology to the Edinburgh Science Festival from March 31st to April 4th. Part of the School of Biological Science’s ‘Biodiscoveries’ activities, the Centre sought to explain the fundamentals of synthetic biology to the primary school age visitors and their carers and to showcase some of the exciting research projects underway in Edinburgh.

The Centre’s artist in residence, Mrs Alia Pietsch, helped bring to life our Master BioBuilder who explained in simple terms what synthetic biology is and what we can use it for to benefit the planet. Our visitors then got to sniff and guess their way around the synthetic yeast chromosome project. There was an opportunity for children to follow instructions to build their own fuzzy felt plasmids (promoters and terminators included) to create useful bugs, and also postcards to capture the children’s ideas of what they would build (including yeast that makes chocolate)! if they were Master Bio-Builders.

There were 2,900 visitors over the 5 days and our exhibit was one of the favourites . We are looking forward to more opportunities to have our Master BioBuilder explain the wonders of synthetic biology.