Collaboration with other teams is an inseparable part of the whole iGEM experience. Thanks to these shared moments of laughs and talks, we can view things from different perspectives and see that people who are passionate about synthetic biology are all over the world, regardless of their cultural, linguistic or any other type of background. In the following lines, we would love to introduce you to some of the friends we've made this year during our journey through iGEM!Figure 1.: The Cyanobacteria Symposium 2021
Team Linköping is from Sweden. Their project is called CyaSalt, which aims to achieve desalination of water using cyanobacteria. To filter the bacteria out of the desalinated water, they wanted to use a carbohydrate binding domain (CBD) to make their bacteria aggregate, resulting in desalinated water free from GMOs. Last year, in our project CyanoTrap, we used CBD for similar reasons, as in our project, CBD was used to immobilise modified bacteria on cellulose beads, keeping them away from the environment. When our friends from Linköping found out about this, they decided to contact us, asking us if we can give them some advice on CBDs. This resulted in a really nice discussion, where we provided the team with a number of tricks and tips, how we have worked with this domain, what experiments we performed and what have we discovered. Besides that, we showed the team some literature on the topic, where they can find more information and help. We hope that this collaboration helped to boost their project!
Meet iGEM team Linköping_Sweden here!
We are not the only team which focuses on cyanobacteria. During the year we got in touch with other teams working with them. We had a really nice discussion with the iGEM team IISER-Pune-India. The goal of their project called SynBactory is the construction of a co-culture, where cyanobacteria are creating sucrose for butanol-producing bacteria. During our talks, we described our projects and their design to one another and gave each other feedback. We have also participated in the Cyanobacteria Symposium held byFigure 2.: Our contribution to Travelling Coat Projectthe Pune team. It was great to hear all the amazing ideas from other teams and also present our project to the judges at this event, because it partially aimed to simulate a real judging session.
Meet iGEM team IISER-Pune-India here!
We have also mentored team MTU-CORK. This was the first year for the guys from Munster Technological University to participate in iGEM and we were asked by one of their instructors if we could help them to start off the right way. So we held an online meeting where we explained what iGEM is, what our journey was like last year, how our team works and what is important to keep in mind during the competition. As a team which also started only a year ago, we know how hard the beginnings are and we were glad that we could help.
Meet iGEM team MTU-CORK here!
Figure 3.: MycoExpo poster
We have also participated in many iGEM projects which are trying to bring us iGEMers closer together despite these difficult times, as the pandemic is still threatening many of us around the world. For example we were part of a collaboration video of iGEM team Nantes. The video was a great way to show the enormous diversity of projects and people which are in this year iGEM competition!
Meet iGEM team Nantes and watch the video here!
We got an unusual way to collaborate thanks to iGEM team Sorbonne. Together with iGEM teams from Nantes, London, Leuven, Maastricht, Stockholm, Moscow and Montreal, we have decided to recreate Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but this time with a lab coat. Each team added some signature thing on the coat when they received it, so it turns into a beautiful tapestry of creativity. And besides that we created a video together, to showcase this experience!
Meet iGEM team Sorbonne_U_Paris and find out more about the Travelling Coat project here!
A terrific idea came from the iGEM team IISER_TVM. They decided to organize a photo exhibition to appreciate the vast diversity of fungi in our biosphere. Fungi are often vibrant, displaying great morphological variance and amazing patterns. Capturing and documenting them enables us to create a knowledge base of fungi within the iGEM community. We have contributed toFigure 4.: Postcards from the Postcard Projectthis idea with our fungi from the Czech Republic and can't wait to see the results!
Meet iGEM team IISER_TVM and find out more about the MycoExpo here!
Last but not least, a collaboration which we would like to mention is the postcard project of iGEM team Duesseldorf. This traditional project is an amazing way to find out more about the huge amount of iGEM projects from across the world. Every iGEM team participating creates its own postcard about their project and then they are sent to each other. So it is not only an opportunity to learn more, but also to express ourselves in a creative and artistic way. It brought a lot of joy to our team when we were able to take a look at all the postcards we received.
Meet iGEM team Duesseldorf and find out more about the Postcard Project here!