iGEM Guangzhou-Shenzhen

District Symposium

At the beginning of this year, in the early stage of the project, we were invited by the SCUT-China team to participate in the five-school exchange meeting held at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou on April 4. The participating teams include SCUT-China, SUSTech-China, SYSU-Software, SYSU-China, SCAU-China and SZU-China. The participating teams introduced the overview of their projects and the initial experimental design, mathematical models and human practical activity planning. During the discussion, we have learned a lot from other teams through point-to-point in-depth communication. When different teams listened to other teams' project reports, they would also rethink the project's rigour, feasibility, and potential innovation from another perspective, which achieved the purpose of communication and learning.

After this meeting, we realized our deficiencies in education, so we decided to unite SUSTech to conduct educational activities for the public and patients. We also realized that our project not only requires objective data research, but also needs to deeply consider the requirements of patients and doctors from their perspectives. Therefore, SUSTech and we decided to conduct offline hospital inspections jointly.

Fig.1 Guangzhou-Shenzhen District Symposium.
China iGEM online meetup

At the beginning of May, the basic framework of each team's project was determined. Some teams have gradually begun to explore experimental conditions. Due to repeated epidemics, holding offline meetings has become a problem. In order to further exchange experience and facilitate more teams to find future Collaboration and Partnership partners, we have had many discussions with three college teams of Jiangnan_China, Jilin_China, and LZU-CHINA. Under the guidance of the CCiC Executive Committee, we jointly Held the China iGEM online meetup conference. 42 teams from the Chinese region participated in the conference (28 teams reported on the project. The conference was divided into four themes, Manufacturing, Health, Environment, Detection&Other. The conference lasted two days from May 29th to May 30th.

Fig.2 China iGEM online meetup.
Fig.3 China iGEM online meetup(SZU-China).

In order to prepare for this conference, in addition to collecting the projects of participating teams into a conference manual, the four hosting universities produced a series of exquisite conference souvenirs to present to the participating teams, including badges, canvas bags, calendars and card bags.

Fig.4 Conference souvenir(Canvas bags).

Taking this opportunity, we also had in-depth meetings and discussions with the many teams that we met online and communicated individually with the intestinal environment and health. At the meeting, our team believes that other teams are facing common difficulties and needs in terms of safety, ethics, colonization, and bioinformatics. Therefore, we put forward the concept of "Standard General Manual" on these unavoidable common issues. We hope that we can give objective, practical and meaningful answers to these questions, and propose feasibility scheme designs and subsequent reliable documentary support for each question, and organize them into a scheme set. We consider that this scheme set should have the characteristics of standardization. That is, its designs and operations can be used by any team that needs to use and can be integrated into their designs with different themes and different directions. This is the same as the "components" proposed by synthetic biology. The overall design of a project is a set of large, complex and ingenious projects, and the solutions in our scheme set can be used as easy-to-use components and integrated into any related project engineering. This agreement should also have the characteristics of universality. It is especially hoped that our agreement can be applied when any team designs intestinal-related research designs. This requires us to seriously consider that it can be involved in the big issue of intestinal microbes.

Considering that most of the iGEMers who entered the competition for the first time are full of creativity, but have not experienced too much scientific research and practical activities, this scheme set can propose different solutions to many common problems from multiple perspectives for this year and in the future, and consider that they ignore them. On the one hand, it can reduce the difficulty of project design and enable it to get started quickly. On the other hand, it can also standardize, enrich and rigorous their project design. We also hope that any follow-up team or experts and scholars can provide valuable opinions and will leave more research results and ingenuity.

The plan and concept proposed by our team received an unprecedented response at this conference. Among them, HZAU-China, BUCT, BNUZ-China, NJMU-China, Nanjing-China, and SUSTech-China hit it off with us. And under our general leadership, we started the pioneering work of compiling the "INTESTINAL Project Reference Manual" with them.

Fig.5 INTESTINAL Project Reference Manual.

Among them, HZAU-China's project belongs to the same direction as ours. They are committed to detecting canine IBD disease this year. They have the basis for highly in-depth cooperation in experimental design, mathematical modeling, human practice and other aspects. In the follow-up meeting, we confirmed a close partnership relationship (see Partnership interface for details).

iGEM Southern China

Regional Meeting

The South China Regional Conference has been held at Shenzhen University since 2017. This year is the fifth. The participating teams' regions have gradually expanded from South China in the early days to the whole area below the Yangtze River, gradually covering the whole country. The participating teams introduced their projects, listened to other teams' projects, and exchanged opinions and suggestions with each other. Due to the epidemic, the preparation of the meeting encountered unprecedented difficulties in the early stage. Many teams informed us of the challenges in attending the meeting offline. So we turned the meeting into an online mode as a last resort to help more teams explore new ideas in the communication, and at the same time provide a platform for each team to make up for the shortcomings in the later stage of the project.

After the announcement of the conference was issued, a total of 28 teams from all over the country signed up to participate in the conference. Before the conference officially started, we asked the participating teams to upload their own promotion video and a project introduction to make it easier to understand each item.

Fig.6 Meeting Brochure.
Fig.7 Screenshot of Southern China Regional Meeting.

In the afternoon of the 5th South China Exchange Conference, we officially held the first intestinal conference. In this meeting, we discussed the details of the experimental progress with other teams participating in the conference, and discussed the design ideas on HP and hardware together. At the end of this meeting, we and six other university teams (BUCT-China, HZAU, BNUZ, NJMU-China, SUSTech-China, BUCT) jointly compiled the "Intestinal Project Reference Manual" held an online agreement Signing, this reference manual took nearly 3 months to compile, with a total of 80 pages. It is divided into three parts: dry experiment, wet experiment, and bioethics, with eight modules including strain selection, population sensing, intestinal colonization, biological safety, hardware and instruments, and bioinformatics (for details, please see Contribution)。

Fig.8 Signed release of the INTESTINAL Project Reference Manual.
The 8th CCiC Meetup

The 8th China Regional CCiC was held on August 27-29, 2021, at Fudan University Handan Campus in Shanghai. Affected by the domestic epidemic situation, CCiC adopted a mixed online and offline approach. A total of more than 70 colleges and universities across the country. Seventy-nine teams shared their research results and experiences through team demonstrations and poster displays at the online and offline venues of CCiC. The theme of this CCiC conference is "Overcoming Challenges" demonstrates the belief of young synthetic biologists that they will continue to cooperate and go in to overcome future challenges together. It aims to encourage young synthetic biologists to explore new opportunities and solutions from the challenges brought about by the post-epidemic era.

Fig.9 The 8th CCiC Meetup.
Fig.10 The 8th CCiC Meetup(SZU-China).
Second meeting of the iGEM

Intestinal Congress

In order to better popularize and publicize synthetic biology and the iGEM International Gene Competition, we were invited to participate in a synthetic biology-related content presentation organized by BNUZ. In addition to us, the invited teams also included BNU-China, BUCT and HZAU-China. Most of the teams participating in the performance came from the writing team of the "Intestinal Project Reference Manual". After we completed the education presentation, each team also discussed in private.

Fig.11 Second meeting of the iGEM Intestinal Congress(Slide).
Fig.12 Second meeting of the iGEM Intestinal Congress.

We exchanged the difficulties encountered in the recent project advancement. In terms of experiments, BUCT raised the difficulties encountered in the construction of suicide systems in experiments. BNUZ sought solutions for how to separate and purify five proteins with similar molecular weights at the same time. We seek opinions from other teams for the logic and rationality of HP.te.

Among them, our team imitated the popular game of "big synthetic watermelon" in educational activities and produced a small game of "Big Synthetic Protein", which attracted the attention of the students on the scene and was well received by everyone. (detailed introduction of the game Inclusion)