To help teams with their proposed implementation / entrepreneurship criteria, we organized the Dragon’s Biome. The Dragon’s Biome meetup was based on the tv show 'Dragon’s Den' where a panel of investors decides if they are going to invest in a business or not based on a short business pitch followed by a round of Q&A. In our meetup, there were 4 “investors” or judges who were all experts in the field of business, pitching and biotechnology. The judges gave feedback on the pitches from 5 participating teams, including our team. one of the ways in which we brought this event to the next level, was by not only holding a judging session but by also including two presentations on how to pitch. These were provided by George Church and Mathias Vissers. You can get a glimpse of the event in the slideshow below, including the names of the participating teams, judges and guest speakers.
There was a one-way collaboration between team EPFL and team BLADEN. To build upon the practicality of BLADEN, we wanted to conceptualize a hardware device that is able to perform continuous directed evolution on a larger collection of traits. The goal of this conceptualization was to see what was needed for such a device to work and create incentive for the development of its mechanisms. We went through many iterations of the device, which we list on our hardware conceptualization page. Finally, we decided on a system that seemed most promising in terms of development and fabrication and started modelling the device together in order to show those interested a better look at how we envision our device to work. Team EPFL has very enthusiastic and talented people and we always had a lot of fun telling each other the new things we came up with.
We had zoom calls every week with team EPFL. During the course of a month, we researched the following ideas, as stated in our shared documentation. This information can also be found at team EPFL's wiki.
- Groups of cells physically isolated on a wafer. Elimination after selection achieved by a robotic arm boasting a laser.
- Groups of cells physically isolated on a wafer. Elimination after selection achieved with micro-tubes and suction.
- Individual cells isolated with electrodes and hydrophobicity on a wafer. Elimination after selection achieved by inverting the voltage on the electrodes and flushing the cells out.
- Individual cells isolated in droplets in a microfluidics circuit. Elimination after selection achieved by directing the cells into the appropriate exit with an electric field.
During the iGEM period we attended:
- The business plan meetup by iGEM Stockholm, where we learned how to make a business plan and had an interesting talk from their guest speaker.
- The brainstorm meetup by iGEM...
- The iGEM Global CRISPR Conference by iGEM IISER Behrampur which gave us new insights into the frontier of CrispR applications. The various talks and presentations perfectly showed the versatility of CrispR.
Poster translation for iGEM NU Kazakhstan
For the poster project of iGEM NU Kazakhstan, we translated three of their posters related to synthetic biology. The goal of their project is to increase the available material about biology and synthetic biology for school students. In a collaboration with multiple iGEM teams, they managed to create a multi-lingual library of posters about relevant topics.
Post cards & Lab coat & small presentation video
This year we participated in three projects with the aim of bringing iGEM teams together, despite borders, languages and pandemics. Through these projects we were motivated by seeing other team’s progress, determination and motivation. The first was a presentation video organized by iGEM Nantes, as a way to start our iGEM summer together with 35 other iGEM teams. Second was the Sorbonne Lab Coat project, where we signed and sent a lab coat around the world, from France to Canada to Sweden to Belgium and many more countries. The Düsseldorf post card was the third project we participated in. In this project we had the opportunity to explain our project in a creative way, and to receive numerous wonderful cards in return which beautifully illustrated how colourful and diverse iGEM is.
Addition of an experiment for the “A chemistry lesson for primary schools” outreach project by iGEM Aachen and iGEM TU Eindhoven
“The goal of this plan is to introduce children to some basic concepts within the field of chemistry and synthetic biology. This is done by letting them explore chemical phenomena in an interactive and fun way by conducting five small experiments.” - iGEM Aachen and TU Eindhoven in a post on the iGEM collaboration forum where they asked other teams to send them an experiment for primary school students. We sent them an elephant toothpaste experiment, which is a fun way of showing children the complementarity between biology and chemistry. You can view our experiment proposal in the embedded pdf below.