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iGem India Bio Summit 2020

January 10, 2010

iGem India In collaboration with The Dais India, EMERGE, BITSMUN Goa, and iGEM Manipal Biomachines, organized the first-ever national-level iGEM India BioSummit 2020 on 25th July 2020.

This was a part of the All India iGEM Meet which was conducted on 31st July 2020 and 1st August 2020. The BioSummit focused on an interdisciplinary interaction for synthetic biology and its relevance cum impact value in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Our aim was to lead a healthy discussion revolving around these goals which were discussed in brief in four committees namely - Ethics of Terraforming, Medical Data Privacy, Prevention of Biowarfare, and Genetic Cosmetic Treatments.

The SDGs that were discussed in the committees were:

  • Committee 1

    • Agenda: Ethics of terraforming: Making Mars suitable for human inhabitation

    • SDGs: covering Clean water and sanitation (Goal 6), Climate action (Goal 13)

  • Committee 2

    • Agenda: Health & Medical Data Privacy

    • SDGs: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure (Goal 9), Good health and Well Being (Goal 3)

  • Committee 3

    • Agenda: Availability of Genetic Cosmetic treatment to the population based on the wealth distribution

    • SDGs: Decent work and economic growth, Responsible consumption (Goal 12), Reduced Inequalities (Goal 10)

  • Committee 4

    • Agenda: Ethics of terraforming: Making Mars suitable for human inhabitation

    • SDGs: Clean water and sanitation (Goal 6), Climate action (Goal 13)

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iGem India Bio Summit 2020: Event

Ethics of Terraforming Mars

Right Education and Consciousness Change through Simulation

iGem India Bio Summit 2020: Welcome


By Devesh Gupta and Eric Young, EMERGE

Is there a symbiotic relationship between Earth and Human Beings?

Are we feeling, perceiving and being part of all of it?

Or are we looking just at ‘us’ (human beings) in a fragment?

Do we feel that the earth is getting deteriorated, so we have to move to Mars? Do we identify with only the physical body at this point of time, only looking for self preservation and in that process not taking into account other things (which might be essential for our existence which might be Earth Itself)? Who are we? How do we stay a part of all of it ? Can we really separate from Earth, ever?

For example, plants are different from human beings. Not only different, they are separate tangible measurable entities. But, eventually, in awareness they are part of one system. Without advanced tools we cannot see the symbiotic relationship of oxygen leaving plants and then entering an animal breathing that oxygen in the air. This process just happens because it should and doesn’t care if we can perceive it or not. It happens in perfect balance. Without it, neither could exist, at least not in their current form. This has similarity to Human Being’s current symbiotic relationship to Earth. Do we act out of perfect balance in the wish to terraform? How do we truly label who/what/where benefits, or suffers, if it requires such a drastic change?

Let’s peel back another layer: do we come from a place of just wanting to avoid change by terraforming? Impermanence flows through the cosmos, so should we not fully embrace this pillar of reality? Don't most current physics models support the notion that the entire universe will eventually just fizzle out just like our Sun? But yet Nature appears active, right at this very moment. The layers of symbiosis produces the very awareness that reads the words on the page. But yet this concept still has a ‘us’ and ‘them’ (i.e. our body-minds and interpreting the separate words on the page). Anytime we get caught in this trap, this ego structure of a Human Being, the concept of I and them, we should take caution and review our intentions.

When Human Beings center themselves not as separate from Nature, but as intimately part of the whole thing, we can start to see the perfect replenishing and healing powers already at work.

Impermanence - Everything is changing, we grow up in height, a seed gets grown into a tree, day changes into night, and everything has its own pace, this change appears to be linear when we are inside the time, so we experience one moment at a time, this moment. But when we look at it from a distance, look at the life of a plant over a period of its life cycle, we know the nature of Nature; it has been to change.

Interconnectedness - Water which is on the ocean gets sunlight at this point of time. It gets converted after a few days into water vapors and clouds, and then water again. So when we look at it from a fixed time, or at a fixed point of time, it looks in movement, in change, but this change is interconnected. We breathe in oxygen, we breathe out carbon dioxide, and we live in a symbiotic relationship with Nature. We eat food and excrete that goes into the soil, in Nature. There is not only an interconnectedness: there is a transformation of matter and energy happening at all points. Sunlight converting water to vapors, to rain, that water going to living creatures, and with this combination of air, water, food, energy, and life force leads to preservation of the system: the interconnectedness, and creation itself comes out from this function of being preserved by this system.

The entire Universe works on one level on the principle of cause and effect. Your everyday relationships to physics, to chemistry to biology, all work on this principle. So actions of human beings have effects, you plant a tree, you understand what happens; you burn coal, you know what happens.

Every human action has an impact on Nature, on Earth, on everything. A single thought in a person’s mind affects Nature and other people directly, or indirectly, however you see. The actions of plants, other animals, down to the tiniest life-forms, are done for a function of being, and supporting this process of impermanence of nature. Yet,those activities have maintained a symbiotic relationship which leads to awareness, harmony, and balance—just ‘being.’ Without this, Life does not exist and collapses; we do not have equilibrium anymore. Therefore, human action motivated by self-preservation, coming out of an illusion of separateness, appears against the very principle of awareness and Life itself.

Has the human mind evolved so much that it could create life force today by understanding how the entire creation and this symbiotic relationship works, and can his action be such that it doesn't destroy this relationship ? Have we learned to truly coexist with our surroundings, with our fellow Beings, without causing harm to Nature?

Questions to inquire into -

  • ●  Do human beings create from a separative mind, because their minds don’t understand the entire cosmos, so it only creates from what they understand?

  • ●  Do we understand Mars in relation to Us in totality?

  • ●  Do we understand ourselves in totality?

  • ●  Will that creation in itself cause other effects?

  • ●  Do we need to recreate an entire universe to terraform, because of the oneness of the

    creation, and to balance out the interrelatedness of everything ?

iGem India Bio Summit 2020: Text
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