Collaboration with Manipal Biomachines
This year, we set up a collaboration together with iGEM Manipal biomachines, or MIT_MAHE, a team from Manipal, India. To this end, we looked for an iGEM team working on a project that could really benefit from DOPL LOCK. Team Manipal has been working extensively on Cell-tinel. This means however, that they have had less time to consider biocontainment strategies. We, on the other hand, have been focussing full-time on biocontainment, so it felt natural to collaborate with each other. Cell-tinel hopes to create a modular pest-controlling endophytic microbe by cloning a toxin that kills rice-pathogenic stem borers into Bacillus subtilis. Further, they will try to use B. subtilis to make the plant more resistant to drought.
Cloning a toxic protein into a bacterium and growing it in a semi-contained manner requires additional safety measures to prevent major unforeseen consequences. We have worked closely with iGEM Manipal to design a combination of our two projects. For a more detailed description, visit the Implementation page.
Additionally, we jointly made a survey to investigate whether people would be willing to eat genetically modified food, given that there are safety measures such as DOPL LOCK in place to prevent environmental risks of the food production. This survey has given us insight into the qualms people may have with eating food that has been produced with the help of GMOs. One of our largest fears was that people would be extremely reluctant to eat food that is made with or by GMOs. Interested in the actual opinions people had? See our Survey page for more details!
The NAWI Graz iGEM podcast
Team Graz has brought out a great podcast featuring iGEM. In this podcast, they explore the unique and interesting aspects of various projects. It was a great pleasure participating in an interview. Listen to the podcast on Spotify!
Maastricht came with the idea to create a journal of iGEM papers this year. Seeing this initiative, we were immediately enthusiastic. It was an educational experience, and we could also give feedback on the papers of other teams. The article very roughly describes some of our findings. Due to the strict word limit, we were not able to describe all of our findings sufficiently. However, it did help us start writing our wiki, and also made us reconsider what data we would need to have to make our project presentable while we still had time to work on it in the lab. See our paper over here:
Rosalind Chronicles (iGEM Patras)
iGEM Patras made a collaboration with many teams to showcase women currently working in iGEM teams, but also to give thanks to inspiring female scientists from across the globe. This collaboration gave a beautiful result, please check it out!
Our team's favorite female scientist is Jane Goodall. We chose her for several reasons: firstly because she has been an incredible inspiration to many of us and helped us become interested in the natural world and biology as a whole. Furthermore, her work has been an amazing contribution to the conservation of great apes. The Jane Goodall foundation does wonderful work in protecting chimpanzees. It has done a great deal of research, education and brought substantial awareness to the issue of nature conservation. Thank you for being amazing, Miss Goodall!
We helped team USP Brazil make an olympiad with questions on synthetic biology. We made several questions for them to incorporate into their quiz. Do you think you have what it takes to make a high-school olympiad in biology?
iJET, an initiative by iGEM Darmstadt, was a fun collaboration showcasing the diversity of teams around the world in a very creative way. We helped with the shooting of these videos as well! See the full video on Instagram. It was very fun to participate in this collaboration!
iGEM Düsseldorf did their yearly collaboration again! Every year, iGEM Dusseldorf invites other teams to make postcards for each other. Seeing all the cards and the effort put into it was great. Check out our postcard:
iGEM Brawijaya has made a calendar to plan iGEM projects, keep track of deadlines and more to help future iGEM teams keep their project organised. True to Dutch culture, as soon as we saw the words 'calendar' and 'planner', we were instantly hooked! We were lucky enough to be one of the teams featured in their 'foundational track' feature. Great initiative!
Shenzhen university's team has made a rebrand of the classic game UNO, in the form of IntestiNO! In the spirit of inclusion, they asked many teams to translate it into their native language. We couldn't resist this original effort, so we decided to chip in!
We helped iGEM Warwick make a booklet with information on how different iGEM teams are using and applying synthetic biology to further their projects. Very informative! You can find our project there, as well as many other stunning projects. Check it out here:
The Dutch meetup, organized by Wageningen University, consisted of pitches by every Dutch iGEM team, two guest lectures and a workshop. The afternoon was plenty of fun and very inspiring, as this was our first time interacting with other iGEM teams face-to-face.
MSU x Costa Rica biosafety roundtable discussion
The biosafety roundtable discussion led by MSU iGEM was a great delight. We were invited by team Michigan to participate in this discussion and had a lot of fun listening to fascinating presentations, showcasing a wide variety of ideas on how to deal with the issue of biosafety.
Like every year, there is a practice Jamboree for the teams of the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg). It was held in Eindhoven this year, where we had the opportunity to practice our speeches and presentations.
The French iGEM teams organised a meetup with many European iGEM teams to discuss their projects and have interactive workshops on cell-free systems, science communication and synthetic biology business. Both the workshops and the discussions on the subjects of the French iGEM projects were inspiring.