The Synthetic Biology Tunnel

A design by Janett Villarreal
for the Synthetic Biology Tunnel

San Nicolás de los Garza, N.L. – Among the activities of the celebration of the LX anniversary of the UANL Biological Sciencies School, regular students and iGEM team members from that school and from the CIDEB High School, participated in an expo that promotes Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology: the Synthetic Biology Tunnel. 

With a couple of weeks of anticipation, Daniel Rodríguez and Heber Torres organized a group of enthusiastic students; the graphic design was in charge of Janett Villarreal and the structure design was done by Denisse Rodríguez; in the construction of the expo, different team members were involved.

Ten modules of graphic and interactive material were constructed, covering fundamental topics to understand Synthetic Biology. 

Finally, with a team of about eighty people in staff, the first edition of the Synthetic Biology Tunnel was inagurated on September 19th, 2012.
«The main goal is that, through interactive activities, people with different backgrounds and education can understand the basics of Synthetic Biology and of Biotechnology in general», told us Heber Torres.

At the end of the Tunnel, visitors left with a better idea about what DNA, genes and protein are, about what the genetic code is, how does Genetic Engineering work and what can be done with it, but also what biological standard parts and Synthetic Biology are, as well as the ethic principles that guide Biotechnological activities

Some staff members

At the end of the third day of expositions, the 21st of September, at least 2,000 visitors were registered, coming from elementary, secondary and high schools and from local universities.

With support from the Secretary of Public Education, the Tunnel was presented in the context of the National Week of Science and Technology in a local park before an audience of approximatey 5,000 assitants to the event. 

The Tunnel has been also presented in Montemorelos, Nuevo León and Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila. In the near future, the Tunnel is expected to visit other schools in Nuevo León and other states in Mexico.

One thing that Heber Torres remarks is that, for the Tunnel to travel to one location, the main limitation is finding transport; but he adds that if this can be solved, then there should be no problem to find a date to move the expo to that particular place.

«Undoubtedly, thanks to the staff, because without them it wouldn’t have been possible», said Torres and continues, «and other projects are yet to come! There’s the Biotechology Roundabout and, of course, the congress GENOBIOTEC 2013, both activities organized by the AsEBioGen«.
The AsEBioGen (Genomic Biotechnology Student Association) is organizing these activities to get the new generations closer to Biotechnology and to be a point of contact among students and researchers from the main institutes in Mexico; furthermore, business finds also a place in the bioferia at the congress GENOBIOTEC, where suppliers and Biotech companies have an extraordinary opportunity reach the Mexican Biological Sciences and Biotechnology community.


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