LAB LIFE (part I – Bio) - Frank Theys, 2018


We follow a few research teams in the fields of the new emerging technologies, while at the same time an ethicist observes them, trying to understand and discuss the risks and controversies of their work.


A student team of bio scientists participates in the international IGEM competition to create the most interesting synthetically manipulated organism. Our team seeks to create a yeast cell that turns fluorescent green when it smells tuberculosis. Part of their task is to reflect on the social, environmental and ethical issues. However, despite the support of our external ethicist, they don’t like to spent time on that part and they ignore him. They even don’t inform him that they participate in a parallel contest for the best debate on the feasibilities of synthetic biology and… they win the contest! But the whole debate is a setup with friends.