On Wednesday 13th of May, the Biodesign spring team ran a booth at the “Salon des Technologies et de l’Innovation de Lausanne” (STIL), where they introduced the project in general and the work they have been doing so far this semester. This event was held at the Swisstech Convention Center at EPFL.
Mathilde presented her work on the double cap and raised people’s concern about the necessity not to release GMOs in the field. Dounia and Marie explained the influence of bacteria scattering in fluorescence detection and the experiences they performed in the lab (cell lysis) to avoid that. Marie and Colombine showed their circuit with the integration of sound as an output to the detection of Arsenic and made some tutorials of how to use an Arduino.
We got a great welcoming and feedback from the visitors that came to the booth:
The basic principle of the prototype was well understood which is encouraging for the do-it-yourself aspect we want for the device. Several asked about the next step of the project such as Arsenic purification, detection of other toxic substances… They also proposed some different ways to achieve the same goal or solutions we didn’t think about and this joins the open source aspect: make Biodesign better known and put documentation online encourage people from really different backgrounds to put their ideas together to develop effective solutions.
The questions raised by the visitors made us realize several things about the team and the project: we realized that working as a team made us aware of all the different parts of the project and we were able to explain the experiments made by the other members of the team. People also asked why our prototype should be preferred over others and it made us realize that the project is not just about producing a cheap prototype but more about building a community that understands how it works and can build the device and use it on their own.
The whole team really enjoyed this experience and it made us proud to introduce our project to the visitors. Getting feedback from people made our work look concrete and useful and especially the positive comments made us feel that the project was great indeed and that it needed to be continued.