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YOUNG SYNTHETIC BIOLOGISTS - YSB 1.0
12 Jul 2013; Laura Cinti - 18 Oct 2013

Howard Boland

C-LAB's Howard Boland was invited by the Synthetic Biology Society to give a workshop on bio art and synthetic biology art practices for the Young Synthetic Biologist (YSB) conference for UK iGEM teams (the annual international Genetically Engineered Machine competition) at the Wellcome Trust.

Howard Boland

The inaugural YSB conference was attended by students from UK iGEM University teams, High School teams, Entrepreneurial teams, UK Arts & Science Prize and OpenLabTools.

Howard Boland

Howard's workshop began with students grouping up to lay down some their preconceived ideas of what bio art might be and citing examples of such practice.  

Howard Boland

After presenting and discussing their ideas, Howard gave a talk on one way of understanding how bio art operates and its practices, after which students were asked to do a short brain storm for interesting proposals for future bio art ideas that involve synthetic biology.

Howard Boland

Howard Boland spoke about his research combining innovative approaches in the arts with the biosciences to develop and display living synthetic biology artworks.

Howard Boland

For example in his artwork Stress-o-stat, he developed a genetic construct to visually capture stress in bacteria as light partaking in machine-life ambiguities imposed by the field of synthetic biology in employing a machine to control the genetic program mediated through the living.

Howard also provided a live demonstration of the unique shimmering effect produced by magnetotactic bacteria in C-LAB's latest project, LIVING MIRROR  - a bacterial imaging system developed in collaboration with FOM Institute AMOLF.  These bacteria have evolved the ability to biomineralise magnetite allowing them to swim along Earth’s magnetic fields. They produce a stunning shimmering effect in real-time visible to the naked eye. By changing the magnetic field we were seeing bacteria rapidly switching direction in a synchronic rotation causing light to scatter and producing a visible shimmer.

Howard Boland

Following the workshop, a Poster Session for UK iGEM team projects were presented.  UCL's 2013 fascinating and ambitious project, titled IGEM: Intelligently Genetically Engineered Microglia focuses on tackling Alzheimer’s Disease with synthetic biology.  

Howard Boland

Representatives from the iGEM foundation (previously MIT) were also present and announced that next year's competition will be expanded to include a DIY strand with the aims to initiate an art and design strand the subsequent year (2015). We are very much looking forward to seeing these initiatives materialise.

Photos: Synthetic Biology Society

Other References: C-LAB:blog: Britt Wray of Fluxmedia visits C-LAB
C-LAB:blog: Butterflies last Saturday in London
C-LAB:blog: Cells alive n' counting
C-LAB:blog: Cellulose from bacteria
C-LAB:blog: Going solid: From Fungi to Mushroom
C-LAB:blog: Growing Magnetospirillium Gryphiswaldense
C-LAB:blog: It's here - the Spring 2012 iGEM library
C-LAB:blog: KatE in a Jar
C-LAB:blog: katE sees red with Red Fluorescent Protein (RFP)
C-LAB:blog: Laboratory Preparation of LIVING MIRROR for Age of Wonder
C-LAB:blog: Red Fluorescent Protein
C-LAB:blog: Setting up LIVING MIRROR at Natlab
C-LAB:blog: Sludge Bacteria - one drop
C-LAB:blog: Spain's opening of Lara Fluxa's Dynamic levels of continuous compensations
C-LAB:blog: Stress light in growth & swarming behaviour
C-LAB:event: AGE OF WONDER
C-LAB:event: ALL ABOUT IMAGING: TRANSACTIONS
C-LAB:event: ALT_CPH 14 ASSEMBLE
C-LAB:event: AMOLF OPEN DAY
C-LAB:event: ART FROM SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
C-LAB:event: ART-SCIENCE TALK
C-LAB:event: ARTSCIENCE TALKSHOW
C-LAB:event: BEYOND BIENNALE MEETS DISCOVERY FESTIVAL: THE REALITY SHIFT EXHIBITION
C-LAB:event: BIOART FORUM
C-LAB:event: CAGE RATTLING #1: KILL SWITCH
C-LAB:event: DA4GA OPENING EXHIBITION
C-LAB:event: DO IT TOGETHER BIO #5: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY ART
C-LAB:event: GRADUATE SCHOOL LAUNCH
C-LAB:event: INTO THE LABS
C-LAB:event: KiiCS AWARDS CEREMONY: ARTS & SCIENCE FOR INNOVATION
C-LAB:event: LIVING MIRROR
C-LAB:event: RE-NEW DIGITAL ARTS FESTIVAL
C-LAB:event: SCIENCE ART SOCIETY
C-LAB:event: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY SOCIETY KICK OFF EVENT
C-LAB:event: THE TWO CULTURES: VISUAL ART AND THE SCIENCES C.1800-2011
C-LAB:event: YOUNG SYNTHETIC BIOLOGISTS - YSB 1.0
C-LAB:experiment: Bacteria Compass
C-LAB:project: Bacterial Light Sensor
C-LAB:project: Bacterial World
C-LAB:project: katE - Visualising Stress
C-LAB:project: KatEred
C-LAB:project: Stress-o-stat
C-LAB:project: Sugar Rush
C-LAB:project: Transient Images
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