August School of Synthetic Biology
Our student leader, Iunona Pospelova, travelled all the way from Moscow to Siberia to attend the August School of Synthetic Biology, organised by the Siberia Team. She was one of the lecturers at the ASBS and held a presentation titled “Steps to a Successful iGEM Project” on the 24th of August, targeted at the students from regional universities, who were not familiar with the competition. Overall this experience was beneficial to both of our teams, as in the capital there are generally more opportunities to partake in events related to synthetic biology, and this was our first time organising something on this scale in Siberia, so an exchange of educational know-how and feedback gave us useful insight to take into account when organising similar events in the future. There were many young scientists who studied in the 1st and 2nd years of Bachelor Degree, they also presented different universities all over Russia. They asked us many interesting questions, so we realized that it is needed to popularize iGEM competition in Russia.
Lecture at summer scientific school
In August, Polina Pugacheva went to the Dubna science city to a summer school from JINR. There she told the students what bioinformatics is, what application it finds in the modern world, what is the essence of our project from the point of view of biology and medicine and why it is so important in the modern world. The students asked their questions related to activities at the intersection of sciences, about the iGEM competition and many others. For example, what is the difference between RNA and DNA and why is our project connected with them? What methods were used to write the tool? Can they also participate in iGEM? How does teamwork work to achieve the best result? We believe that participation in educational projects with schoolchildren is extremely important because it helps the new generation to grow up refreshed about modern problems and the latest technologies, as well as not to forget about each other. http://www.jinr.ru/posts/33-ya-letnyaya-mezhdunarodnaya-kompyuternaya-shkola-mksh-2021-2/
Our team member, Dmitry Pustoshilov, had a live air on the radio Mayak at the prime time. Main subject was: “IGEM SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY COMPETITION: HOW AND WHY THE INTERACTIONS OF RNA MOLECULES ARE STUDIED”. This radio has 1 398 000 of listeners per week.
Open day at MIPT
An open day is held twice a year at MIPT, and this time Polina Pugacheva was able to tell students not only about how to enroll in the DBMP,MIPT and what you can do here, but also about iGEM, about our project and the history of participation in the competition. In the context of covid restrictions, it turned out to tell only in the format of a mini lecture on the record, but the more students will be able to see it!
Podcasts and radio live air
Many members of our team, including PI, have recorded podcasts about their activities and our project for iGEM together with famous russian microbiologist Evgeny Plisov. This podcast is available to listen to on many major platforms, including Apple Podcasts. We have recorded 8 series of this podcast, which is called Double Helix.
Here you can see all the problems raised in this podcast:
1) Evgeny Plisov - about science in Russia, iGEM and synthetic biology
2) Varvara Varlamova. How to become a wet biologist and what is it? How to work with such tiny objects as RNA, why shouldn't cleaning ladies be allowed into the laboratory, and what are your plans for the future? We'll find out everything from the cook with me as a host.
3) Maria Dyakova. How to become a bioinformatician. What is it to be an IT specialist in Biology?
4) Pavel Podkorytov - CEO of Napoleon IT (our sponsor). An incredibly interesting story of the company's development from a small Chelyabinsk startup to a large corporation, which also transfers its interests to biology.
5) Georgii Nosov - our PI. Interesting talk about molecular biology, international communications between scientists
6) Iunona Pospelova - team leader. This episode was about the path from being a biologist to becoming a bioinformatician. We have been talking about the iGEM competition a lot and about synthetic biology.
7) Ivan Taraskin - about business in science
8) Interview with Denis Kuzmin - our PI and head of Phystech School of Biological and Medical Physics. Total number of podcast listeners is more than 10.000.
Integrated HUMAN PRACTICES
During our participation in IGEM we made not only solution of the scientific problem , but also a business project. We presented our interaction prediction service prototipe to the business accelerator Archipelago2021’(https://pt.2035.university/project/mirnalncrna-interaction-predictor) and were selected to the two weeks intensive, were we had a lot of meetings with experts in creating business. We have made the way to monetize our service, the financial model. It was great experience for our team, because there we learned the basics of creating business, presenting the project to investors, making effective and understandable presentations. Essentially there we realised that our roles in team need to be more separatable. Before this event we thought that every member of the team should be equal in rights and roles and everyone should do every kind of work, but in Arhipelag we understand that we need make a subgroup of main programers, another subgroup with people that make byology research, and also a part of team should spend most of the time in administration of the processes and public relations. In addition to the Archipelago, we presented our project in four investment funds:
- Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative
- Agency for Strategic Initiatives
- Moscow Center for Healthcare Innovations
- Torrey Pines Investment
Investment fund experts suggested changing the approach to monetizing our service: we originally planned to make our project open and free for scientists and students, but paid for researchers of drug development companies. We were offered to monetize all requests and to rise a fee for scientists. We thought a lot about this and decided to make our service - open for everyone because we want to advance science and help researchers around the world.
We have also had a lot of educational sessions this summer. After receiving many questions from our students and guests, we realized that we need to spend more time working on popularization of science.
After meetings with Olga Sokolova she gave us many recommendations as a scientist who will definitely use