Dumelang! I am Dr. Maboko! I am the leader of the Genome Adventures Squad (no matter what Kgosigadi tells you!). I have amazing powers to go through walls and teleport with my scooter. And that's not all - I am a mind reader too! Like the Genome Adventures page on Facebook and see how I use these powers and others. Don't miss out, knowledge is power!!
Say hi to Jonathan Strysko. He is currently a Pediatrics Resident and science adviser for the scripting process. Jonathan thinks the project ‘’is fascinating and shows that CAfGEN does responsible research by making an effort to make these complicated topics understandable/relatable to the general population..’’ He also hopes that the comic book series ‘’achieves loyal readership and expands beyond this particular topic’’.
Hello Readers!! It's about time for another Genome Adventures Post and this time we want to introduce you to our wonderful team of writers, scientists, designers and researchers!! The little sign they are holding in their hands says GENOME ADVENTURES AHEAD! It was made by one of our patients here at the clinic. All around us are creative and talented people. We hope you enjoy the post and stay tuned for more from your favorite adventures team!
Meet Thato Regonamanye. Thato has a background in psychology and her many responsibilities include working on logistics, workshops and transcribing. When asked how she felt about the Genome Adventures Project, she said "I think its a good initiative to try and get the kids and adults to read/learn about genetics through comics. Comic books are appealing. I hope it [the project] yields positive results''.
Meet Tswelelo Masutha who works as a Nurse Adolescent Health Services Coordinator. He also works as a researcher at Botswana Baylor Children's Clinical Center of Excellence. He has contributed to the Genomes Adventures project by helping with scripting, offering guidance and advice for the scientific portions and explaining genetic research. Masutha hopes to help ''get the message to the public about genomics.''
The Genome Adventures Team is pretty diverse. We are taking an interdisciplinary approach to completing our comic books series. Members of our team have backgrounds in cartooning, creative writing, journalism and media, biology and more. Other contributors have been dentists, psychologists, and nurses. Our recent additions to the team, Omphile Moragi and Lemogang Mosie are students at Limkokwing University. Their contributions include digitizing and designing comic strips, editing photos and videos, designing business cards and other promotional material. We did a mini interview with them to record their thoughts about the project. Read their responses below!
Name: Omphile Moragi
Area of Study: Creative Multimedia
Role on the Genome Adventures Project: Media & Design Intern
1. How do you feel about working on the Genome Adventures Project?
'"I feel it is a good [project] and it will be very helpful on helping people being aware of HIV & AIDS in a more understandable way."
How did you hear about the project?
"'My lecturer informed me about the Genome Adventures Project and we decided to join in creating the comic book."'
Through comic books differ from other approaches?
''Comic books give motivation to people to read more about the message. It also differs from other books because it helps people to understand things the message conveyed in a more understandable and easier way.''
Name: Lemogang Mosie
Area of Study: Creative Multimedia
Role on Genome Adventures Project: Media & Design Intern
How do you feel about working on the Genome Adventures Project?
''It is quite fun because I get to interact with different people and it also gives me experience of the working environment."
How did you hear about the project?
"From my lecturer, since he knew one of the people involved in the project.''
How does teaching through comic books differ from other approaches?
''It is very informative because the message is put in an indirect way (e.g. in the form of pictures) which is eye catching.''
The Media & Design Interns are very enthusiastic about working on the project. Throughout the week, they are in the office editing photos and coloring the scenes. The Limkokwing students even shared their process of coloring a cartoon. Maybe you can do it too. Follow these steps!
Coloring A Cartoon
When coloring a photo, keep in mind that there are multiple layers to color. You may choose to color as many layers as you like. In our case, we are coloring the background layer.
1. First scan the cartoon and make it black and white. Open the scanned black and white cartoon and make sure it is on a separate layer than the background layer.
2. Select the background layer, then pick the magic wand tool and make sure the settings are on Tolerance 0 and Contiguous unchecked. Sample all of the layers you have checked.
3. Fill the area with your desired foreground color using Opt + Shift + Delete (or Alt + Shift) Backspace for windows. Continue this for each area of artwork.
4. Any area that the magic wand did not select properly can be quickly selected and filled until the picture is fully colored.
Did your photo turn out like ours!?
The Collaborative African Genomics Network (CAfGEN) Community Advisory Board (CAB) consists of ethical review bodies; religious/faith-based organizations; human rights organizations; a child rights organization; a media organization; a women's rights organization; a traditional body (House of Chiefs); youth members and 2 organizations for people living with HIV/AIDS. Collectively, this diverse group of members make our efforts more collaborative and enriching. We can benefit from each others professional experiences, resources, and general support.
Our monthly meeting with the CAB took place yesterday at the Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Centre of Excellence. Present at this meeting were NGO stakeholders, researchers, and the Genome Adventures Team. At this meeting, we were able to update the board on our progress with our most current project, Genome Adventures. There was discussion about the graphic design, cartooning, scripting and character bibles. The graphic designs and cartooning depicted the Genome Adventures logo and characters from our comic book series. We received some very helpful feedback, as our community advisory board has much to contribute to the project's development process. One particular suggestion was from an NGO leader about the representation of femininity in superhero form. She brought to our attention the need to be sensitive to gender bias and that a woman need not be "masculine" or "muscular" in order to be a superhero. We humbly received her insight, taking note of how we initially chose to present that particular character.
When discussing the character bibles and script for books 1-4, the board was very pleased. They asked several questions about the relevance of certain scenes and the significance of the information presented. Edward Pettitt, Project Coordinator for CAfGEN and Genome Adventures explained each scene's significance as it related to scientific knowledge. He elaborated on DNA sequencing, CCR5 deletions, Mendel's Law of Inheritance, Watson and Cricks discovery of the double helix and Rosalind's contributions to the discovery.
Overall, the creative process has been progressive and fruitful in many respects. The board was pleased with our work thus far, praising us for our inclusion of cultural norms and values. To us, the Genome Adventures Team, it is very important to reference Botswana culture as an Afrocentric approach is unique and serves the community as a whole. The key phrase is cultural relevancy.
At our next meeting, which will take place in March, we will be providing updates about comic book 1--The History of Heredity.
Do you want a cartoon version of yourself made by our cartoonist? All you have to do is answer the questions below! 10 lucky winners will be chosen! The competition will run until February 28th 2015. Please send your responses to our Genome Adventures FB inbox. (Terms and conditions apply)
1. What is heredity?
2. What kinds of research and activities are being carried out by the Collaborative African Genomics Network (CAfGEN)?
3. Why is it important to build capacity for biomedical research in Botswana?
4. Why is it important for the public to be sensitized and engaged on genomics and biomedical research?
5. How can the private sector support genomics and biomedical research and how can they benefit?
6. What are some important policy considerations in relation to genomics and biomedical research?
7. Please list and describe the funders of CAfGEN and Genome Adventures.
8. How can the Government be encouraged to support genomics and biomedical research in Botswana?
9. How can schools better prepare and educate Botswana’s next generation of scientists and biomedical researchers?
10. What would you call a gene in Setswana? Please explain your answer.
"Welcome to Genome Adventures, an innovative Wellcome Trust-funded community engagement initiative of the Collaborative African Genomics Network (a member of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa - H3AfricaConsortium) to help the general public in Botswana and throughout the African continent better understand genomics and biomedical research. Like and follow our Facebook page to receive updates, get involved, and even win prizes!" ~Ed Pettitt, Senior Project Coordinator, CAfGEN
Researchers are always seeking ways to reach out to new and diverse audiences. What can they do to make sure that their content is appealing and competitive? Watch this video and share your views here on YouTube, or on my blog: http://www.abrahammamela.wordpress.com.