28,000 people. That’s how many attendees this event in Washington , D.C. drew. Genspace had a great booth, right on a corner and in one of the main aisles of traffic. And we invited Dr. Mike Ellison and Dr. Doug Ridgway from the University of Alberta to demo their iGEM team’s Genomikon synthetic biology toolkit. We can say without a doubt that we were the ONLY booth at the fair where middle schoolers and up could sit down and do real genetic engineering on the spot. They built a plasmid in about half an hour using Genomikon DNA parts (such as the RFP gene) – then transformed E. coli with it. We took the plates back to the lab and sent them photos of the results.
And then there was the bacterial painting activity- fun for all ages as kids used a toothpick to “paint” red, purple, green and brown bacteria onto agar plates which turned out spectacular!
More pics of the Festival: