Mon 14 Feb 2022 11:56PM

Generating promotional materials around biotech and quality of life

DU Deleted account Public Seen by 60

A potential tactic to get more attention on Biotech Without Borders while also putting our understanding of science to use for the public good is to create promotional materials that highlight an insight aimed to improve the quality of life for New Yorkers. These materials would be distributed in the physical world, link to our website, and drive traffic to membership and/or programming.

Key Requirements

  • Broadly applicable insights that are supported by scientific literature

  • Easily understandable by a popular audience

  • Can direct attention to membership and/or programming

Current Topic

Chirag had many ideas and based spanning biological safety, pet longevity, garden plant culture and DIY. Based on limited feedback he has decided to focus on air and water quality. There is also interest in linking microplastics to health concerns with projects around testing and filtration being suggested as potential matched programming.

The working title for this campaign is "Safe in the City"

How to use this Thread

Please use this thread to brainstorm ideas and implementations as well as to discuss potential topics. The ultimate goal is to find consensus on topics, the requirements of this project, and execute the creation/ distribution of these materials.


Deleted account Tue 15 Feb 2022 12:01AM

Hi All,

My name is chirag and I would like to try to build a couple permanent pages to share very accessible ways to use biology and our laboratory community and space to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers, pets, plants to obtain sustained engagement. Digital visual assets help map biotech ideas to illustrate ways life in the city could be more sustainable and durable for wellness and community growth. In short, the space would be a launchpad for sharing essential biotechnology to potential community members with emphasis on popular activities or current concerns.

I will add to this after the meeting today to provide instructions on contributing to this thread to help develop the digital visual assets.


Danny Tue 15 Feb 2022 3:32PM

Thanks for posting Chirag I appreciate your bravery/determination, jumping into working with our Loomio platform without any in-person training. One pointer would be that ensure the context alone can be read and understood by folks coming to the thread. As the thread develops comments might get buried by others. The context can be edited or updated as needed and should give the reader everything they need to jump into a discussion. I suggest to revise the context to include some of the information in your first comment as it elaborates on what you mean by virtual space (it seems like you're talking about a website). The following may also be useful.

To add on from what I remember from when you first proposed this idea 2 meetings ago:

  • the capacity to organize the creation of useful infographics would both be marketing and mission-aligned outreach

  • QR codes on posters pasted in relevant areas would be one way to direct foot traffic to digital traffic

  • we would need help researching and vetting specific "tips / facts" that we would want to disseminate

Also I am interested to hear you elaborate on the examples you suggest in the title of the context.


Deleted account Thu 17 Mar 2022 8:48PM

Thanks again, Danny.

So I am going to flesh this proposal out and add a pool to the community at large to inform the next steps.

I am a chemical engineer focused on biological transport in tissue to stop disease. It would be useful to brainstorm essential knowledge and practices to avoiding toxicity in the city at the nanoscale. Since we want to collect scientists, I think it would be useful to maybe establish interdisciplinary bridges to welcome more people to the community.

History: Asbestos and lead have been characterized as toxic but were indispensable building materials decades ago. Biotechnology is essential to inform and instruct on safety for daily life in the NYC.

A. Transportation: contamination risks sever

  1. Subway - Viral exposure in air and surfaces, extremes in O2/CO2 levels, lack of sunlight, Solutions: Avoid subway

  2. Pavement - No shock absorption, disrupts normal blood flow, breaks down joints

    Solutions: Use a bike or scooter

B. Pharmaceuticals: contamination risks sever

  1. Side effects - Liver and kidney disease. Solution: Avoid pharmaceuticals

  2. Shedding - Metabolites of drug spread to others after use across the ecosystem. Solution: Limit use and increase awareness of drug risks.

C. Genetic Stability : moderate risks

  1. Compromised immune systems reduce mRNA stability. Solutions: Avoid sedentary daily routines, increase sunlight exposure, avoid processed foods.

  2. Depression and isolation reduce immune function. Solutions: Promote cooperation and in person social cohesion for public well being.

D. Water - Thinking about water at the nanoscale.

E. Air - Dangerous Risks

  1. Indoor air quality poor and leads to disease. Solution: Decrease time indoors and develop outdoor space for community engagement.

F. Plants

  1. Urbanization has degraded plant and animal stability in the city. Solution: Curate open spaces and promote awareness on benefits of plants and the harms of missing them.

  2. Public awareness is poor on planting and farming basics. Solution: Highlight benefits of food policy advocacy and recruit sustained engagement and support.

G. Digestion - How to interpret chemical signals of stool and sweat to live longer.

H. Pets - How do be better pet owner.

I. Offspring - How to grow better kids


Poll Created Thu 17 Mar 2022 8:56PM

What areas of biotechnology are most essential to communicate to scientists and tinkerers in New York? Closed Thu 24 Mar 2022 8:01PM

by Deleted account Wed 30 Mar 2022 11:44PM

From this we will zero in on air and water quality.

Anonymous vote. Comments available as an option.

Would greatly appreciate your input to develop ways to communicate these concepts to our community.


Results Option Rank % of points Points Mean
air quality 1 13.9% 23 7.7
water quality 2 13.9% 23 7.7
plants 3 10.3% 17 5.7
immunity 4 10.3% 17 5.7
dna stability 5 9.7% 16 5.3
pharmaceuticals 6 9.7% 16 5.3
digestion 7 8.5% 14 4.7
blood 8 7.9% 13 4.3
transportation 9 7.3% 12 6.0
toxicity 10 7.3% 12 4.0
pets 11 1.2% 2 2.0
Undecided 0% 0 0

3 of 38 people have participated (7%)


Anonymous Thu 17 Mar 2022 9:36PM

2 - immunity
3 - pharmaceuticals
4 - air quality
5 - water quality
6 - blood
7 - digestion
8 - toxicity
9 - plants
10 - pets
11 - dna stability

Not quite sure how these options map to A to I in the comment that precedes it. I ranked based on the text in the poll details but took some suggested understandings from the comments that precedes this poll


Deleted account Mon 28 Mar 2022 11:59PM

This recent study really goes into plastics at the nano and microscale. Toxicity at this level devastate developing living systems and it is planet wide even on the top of Mt. Everest. The data seem to support children and babies as the most vulnerable to micro and nano plastic. It would be great to develop awareness of this recent pioneering study and some solutions that can be implemented in as a significant and meaningful deterrent to toxic exposure in air or water in everyday life.


Chiu Chau Tue 29 Mar 2022 12:28PM

that's a great idea. let's continue this idea - where can it take us ?


Susan Harrington Tue 29 Mar 2022 5:10PM

Thanks for the paper. :)

I don't know much about them, but I think microplastics in our environment are a great subject to study. In general, I think that environmental surveillance of pollutants and pathogens is an area in which community biolabs could play an important role, and governments are not supporting this type of research as much as they should. Yet people are naturally interested and concerned. Cheap testing and filtration methods would be really important.

This could also tie into some other interests of the community in plants or fungi and myco-remediation. What do the plants/fungi do with microplastics (if anything)?

I know that plankton are trying to eat them, and I assume the microplastics make their way up the food chain. https://twitter.com/PlanktonPundit/status/1501272875533221891


Just collecting the relevant papers and outlining the results would be a service to the community.


Danny Wed 30 Mar 2022 9:57PM

@chirag raval here is a link to some potential resources concerning this issue that I mentioned at our meeting on Monday.

I'm reached out with the linked message to the owners of several Zotero group libraries that are already created for collecting this research. I haven't gotten any response from them so I renamed a group we have been using for some Newtown Creek microbiology to have a broader scope of Environmental Contamination. This the subfolder in that group where we may add interesting references related to microplastics. I updated the collection with the links posted in this thread prior to and including this comment.

I'm really enjoying the new (Zotero) version's ability to sync annotations and I think it would be a great way to collect relevant research and share notes/summaries for those who can use the software and serve as a basis for some of the work you are suggesting in this thread.


Ellen Jorgensen Thu 31 Mar 2022 12:34PM

I use Zotero at work and like it a lot.

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