BioRoboost, Fostering Synthetic Biology standardisation through international collaboration

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BioRoboost, funded by the H2020 Research & Innovation Programme, aims at generating the most comprehensive collection of information available to date on standards in the biological and non-biological realm.

Synthetic biology (SynBio) is a multidisciplinary emergent field, evolving so fast that it still lacks a consensus definition, and its outstanding success in the last years should not hide the difficulties in defining and adopting biological standards: there are both historical and technical difficulties in reaching that ambitious goal.

Nevertheless, the benefits of improving standardisation of biological systems are overwhelming and, in this framework, the EU-funded project BioRoboost (from October 2018 to September 2021) aims at:

  • Setting up an international collaborative network on SynBio standards.
  • Stocktaking of ongoing standardisation practices aimed at promoting conceptual consensuses and technical (re)definition of biological standards and their metrology in live systems
  • Elaboration of a real-time catalogue of research needs on biological standards
  • Developing and offering to the academic and industrial SynBio community a usable, realistic and flexible toolbox of standardised biological assets
  • Coordination of existing material and computational resources for standardised biology, as well as future initiatives
  • Anticipating societal ramifications and cultural reactions to standardised biology by engaging in a continuous conversation and informed debate with cognate stakeholders

On the project’s website all the materials and resources generated in the framework of the project are open access, and classified to facilitate easy access to them. The project is generating different types of materials: reports, scientific papers, websites, audiovisual materials and databases among others. On the project’s website there is also an extensive database on existing biological standards and initiatives available at https://standardsinsynbio.eu/more-on-standards/

The BioRoboost Educational Kit is aimed at explaining Synthetic Biology to 15-16-year-old high school students, introducing concepts such as gene, transcription, translation, plasmids or biological chassis. To do so, the kit contains:

  • a handbook (a didactic strategy that the teacher can implement for the students to further develop key synthetic biology concepts)
  • a presentation (images and diagrams to illustrate the concepts explained throughout the class)
  • a video (a 2-minute simple animation video explaining the importance of standards in SynBio)
  • a card game (a gamified activity that will allow the students to consolidate the concepts learned throughout the class)

The kit has been designed to introduce all these concepts in a one-hour session.

Educational centres willing to receive the kit (the shipping costs are also covered by the project) should please register here: https://standardsinsynbio.eu/bioroboost-educational-kit-let-us-know-if-you-would-like-to-receive-one-for-free/

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