As representatives of the scientific- and biotechnology community we spoke with David Bergenholm (PhD) the senior scientist at Melt&Marble, a start-up company based on the campus of Chalmers University of Technology that specialises in designing yeast strains for producing animal fats. We found our meetings especially exciting since their company purpose was similar to our project in many way - to replace a conventional and environmentally problematic manufacturing process with cell factories. During The Nordic iGEM Conference that we hosted at Chalmers University of Technology we gained many new perspectives from the other iGEM teams and the researchers and experts that participated in judging the competition. This included feedback on how to present our project to the public and the scientific community. The judges included Anne Farewell (a senior lecturer at the Department of Chemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg), Linnea Österberg (a doctoral student at the Systems and Synthetic Biology, Chalmers University of Technology), Patrik Lundström (a senior lecturer at the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Linköping University), and Ganesh Mohite (a postdoc at the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Linköping University).
The Department of Systems and Synthetic Biology at Chalmers University of Technology (SysBio) provided invaluable resource and advice regarding all parts of our project. We received fantastic input about the ethical considerations of synthetic biology and biotechnology by talking to Carl Johan Franzén (a professor in Bioreaction Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology). We are thankful that Franzén allowed us to organize lecture presentations in his second cycle course ‘Ethics in Biotechnology’. We also received great feedback from his students which helped to improve our project.