The BioBuilder textbook has been a great resource for numerous teams in the U.S., but what about other countries? Certainly, absorbing complex material is not any easier if the material is written in your second or third (or fourth?) language. This is why we are so excited about three great teams that have set out to translate the BioBuilder textbook and make it more accessible for local students.
The team working on the translation into Korean is led by Prof. Steven Cho in Korea. He recently obtained funding from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) to expand his synthetic biology course. Part of this funding has been allocated to translating the BioBuilder textbook into Korean. As the funding comes from a government-supported public research institution, there are rules and regulations to be followed. Together with Ellis Lee, J.D., Prof. Cho has been sorting out these rules and at the same time looking for a qualified English-to-Korean translator with a strong biology background. Such a person is hard to come by, but, as Ellis Lee and Prof. Steven Cho have admitted to us, they have “the optimism gene encoded into their DNA”. Their persistence has paid off, and they believe they are closing in on just the right fit. As a team of three, they are hoping to start in late November or early December.
The Spanish translation is powered by Prof. Carlos Vera at Universidad Autonoma de Baja California and Instituto Tecnologico de Tijuana, Mexico. Prof. Vera has started Synthetic Biology Study Group (GEBioS-Tj) at the University, and three of his students have already translated the first 11 pages of Chapter 1 of the BioBuilder textbook. (We got a sneak peak!) Using his exceptional motivational skills, Prof. Vera recruited more students of GEBioS-Tj through his Facebook group to translate the Chapter. He set up a discussion of the best means for sharing and editing the translation to ensure the process runs smoothly. Upcoming on November 12 is a meeting of GEBioS-Tj, where the students will present their translation of the BioBuilder textbook.
The Brazilian team under the leadership of Dr. Aparecida Maria Fontes of Universidade de Sao Paulo and Prof. Claudio Paris Magrao of Liceu Albert Sabin has been working on the translation of the BioBuilder textbook into Portuguese. The team is supported by the generous Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) grant covering research and educational collaboration with MIT. Together with five graduate students, Dr. Fontes and Prof. Magrao completed translation of Chapter 1 this summer. Working at this rate, they expect to finish translation of the first 4 chapters by the end of 2016 and of the entire book by May 2017. Go team Brazil!
Our dear teams, we are cheering for you and wishing you luck in overcoming administrative hurdles, organizational challenges and whatever else comes your way. Please do email us if there is anything we can do to help.
Dear readers, if you are working on a translation of the BioBuilder textbook, we would love to help you and learn from you. Please send an email to Kat.
About BioBuilder and BioBuilder Global
BioBuilder enables students to tackle big questions of synthetic biology - and empowers educators to reconnect with their love of teaching.