geekStarter Community Highlights – August 2017

Our iGEM teams got a lot done over the past few weeks. Check out their recent updates!   UCalgary iGEM 2017  Project: Improving waste management on space missions by using genetically engineered bacteria to turn human waste into bioplastics Our human practices outreach efforts have been picking up steam, as we have decided to build on previous Alberta iGEM teams’ efforts and create an updated version of a manual instructing members of high schools and postsecondary institutions in the practical matters of starting an iGEM team. We want our manual, which will take the form of a video series, to be a real-world connection between the academic and public spheres, and encourage public participation in building the scientific body of knowledge. Our policy analysis also focuses on barriers which may impede access to synthetic biology and providing sound recommendations which will alleviate these barriers. We envision this to be an important area for research with connections to the feasibility and impact of our project.  Since a long-term space mission will be a collaborative effort between several nations, it becomes important to ensure that access to information and technology is equal across the world. We have other public engagement events planned for a more immediate way to increase local participation in science. On September 14, iGEM Calgary is partnering with TELUS Spark at the Adults Only Night to engage the broader public about the limitless applications of synthetic biology. In addition, we will be hosting an informal event for members of the public at a local venue, Home and Away YYC, to raise awareness about iGEM and synthetic biology. Our process development team is...
Spotlight on geekStarters: Lisa Oberding

Spotlight on geekStarters: Lisa Oberding

Lisa Oberding – Mentor of synthetic biology team from Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy in Canmore since 2014. In this photo, Lisa (right) teaches the students laboratory techniques at the Lab skills workshop held at University of Lethbridge in March 2017   10 Quick Questions for Lisa How would you describe yourself in one sentence? I’d say I’m very curious, tenacious (or stubborn, depending who you ask), and I love a challenge – I love learning new things, as well as using that knowledge to either master a new skill or build things from it in new and better ways. What do you love the most about your work/school? I love the challenge of what I do – really getting to apply what I have learned to solve problems and build something useful, and the potential to really make a difference in the process. What is your best accomplishment so far? Probably being a part of founding FREDsense and helping it to get to where it is now while getting my M.Sc. at the same time. What is something you are working towards right now? Outside of work, I’m currently working on learning how to code as well as learning to be completely fluent in Spanish before working on learning another language next year. How do you like to spend your downtime? My downtime (when I get it) usually goes one of two ways; either I’ll spend hours curled up reading a good book, or I’ll go on some kind of adventure – I love to travel and scuba dive, as well as bike, hike, rock-climb, and snowboard. What...