[Photo of our group visiting the Voronoi Company. Photo credit: Korea Bio Academy]
2021 Korea Youth Bio Academy was a great experience for me to gain insightful knowledge and learn a lot of knowledge related to the field of biotechnology. Significantly, it deepened my connection to the real world, and I was able to recognize further how interconnected biotechnology and the world we live in are.
Korea Youth Bio Academy is a camp provided for students across Korea to participate in various conferences and lectures by university professors as well as visit companies to gain insight on their aims and purpose, especially in the biotechnological fields. During the COVID-19 times, it wasn’t easy to participate in camps as most of the camps were held online.
However, fortunately, I was able to participate in the offline session in which I was able to directly visit companies to see a wide range of technology they work with and go to university to experiment in the lab environment.
I participated in the session where I visited a company named Voronoi, a global group that collaborates with other companies around the world to develop new medicines.
In this company, employees are experts in artificial intelligence, medicine development, cell biology, biochemistry, protein structural biology, animal physiology, and many other scientific areas to conduct research for new medicine development.
I was also fortunate enough to visit Inha University, listen to university professors’ lectures, and also conduct experiments on how to extract DNA and do gel electrophoresis. The lecture was given by professor Lee Cheol-gyun, the head of the Korean Society of Biological Engineering on biotechnology.
Through this lecture, I learned the fundamentals of biology, different branches of biotechnology, and several real-life examples of how biotechnology is integrated into our daily lives or in the real world.
More importantly, I learned that there are four main types of biotechnology: industrial biotechnology, medical biotechnology, environmental biotechnology, and marine biotechnology. These can also be referred to as white, red, green, and blue biotechnology.
Listening to lectures that taught me about the types of technology has broadened my scope in viewing biotechnology and that its application to real-life is infinite, and that people can find it every day in our daily lives.
Most importantly, I deeply learned the significance of biotechnology and the need for this area of study to be integrated in order for the world to further develop in the future.
I also was able to experiment with gel electrophoresis, which is a method where an electric current is applied to DNA samples and separates a mixture of DNA, RNA, or proteins through a gel that contains small pores. Experimenting in a lab environment, I got familiar with the laboratory tools such as a pipette along with an electrophoresis tank that is necessary to conduct gel electrophoresis.
I also did an experiment where I extracted DNA from bananas. This experiment was relevant to the current pandemic situation as most COVID tests are done through PCR testing. Through this DNA extraction experiment, I was able to connect with the pandemic situation and gain insight into how these experimental procedures and methods are used in the real world.
Therefore, people should not just learn the theories and fundamentals of science but make connections and recognize how sciences are applied in the world, which is ultimately the most essential aspect. I’m looking forward to the 2022 Korea Youth Bio Academy!
Chadwick International School
Sohee Shim email@example.com
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