· Collaboration with Dr.Oral
We had a face-to-face collaboration with the iGEM Dr.Oral team (Official Team Name: Shanghai_high_school). Their project is also about human health, they are working on a way to change the Rotavirus vaccine injection to an oral solution which is much easier and more accessible to the child under 5 years old. In this meeting we mainly shared the inspiration of the project we are respectively working on and exchanged the idea of fund raising, promotion, subscription operation, questionnaire and the foremost aim of the project. They provided us with some suggestions on doing online selling of peripheral products as we only decide to have offline selling. We gave them some ideas on the frequency of posting subscriptions and propound them to rethink about their unique selling points as there are already some similar products on the markets. Through this collaboration we agreed that the main purpose of the project was to raise public awareness of the dangers of microplastics and rotavirus.
· Collaboration with Dr. Phage
Our team collaborated with Dr. Phage (Official Team Name: Shanghai_United_HS), an iGEM team that focuses on treating dental caries through an enzyme that will induce the expression of food arabinose to produce CylR. They explained to us how they outlined their business plan and found the pain spot of their product. For them, their product was more advantageous and competitive than the existing methods such as toothpaste and mouthwash that could cause damage on children’s bone development and kill the harmless bacteria inside the mouth. This made us think deeply on how we can differentiate our products from the competitors in order to persuade our sponsors. The team also informed us that there existed a problem in keeping enzyme constantly active, and it created much concern for them in designing final products. As we went through similar process in engineering E.coli, it might also be a focus of our future research. We also shared our idea on publicity with them, including making interactive videos and WeChat mini programs. Overall we both find this collaboration really helpful, especially to our current progress.
· Collaboration with PecTeast
Two members of our group collaborated with another iGEM group, PecTeast (Official Team Name: Xiamen_City), on August 12.PecTeast is a group investigating the heterologous expression of the Endo-galacturonase gene from Aspergillus niger in fructooligosaccharide yeast through CRISPR-cas technology. After an initial conversation with them, we learned that their finished product will be a strain that is capable of both pectin degradation and alcoholic fermentation.
Members of both groups first learned about the background of the collaborating group's project and the areas of application. After a short talk with the PecTeast members, we realized that there was a problem with their project inspiration: the PecTeast group was working on fruit wine yeast because they wanted to solve the problem of fruit stagnation, but there was not a strong connection between the two. First of all, there are many more effective ways to solve fruit stagnation. Also, it would be hard for the newly developed fruit wine yeast technology to reach the bottom and help struggling farmers in a decade.
At the same time, the PecTeast group gave us some sincere advice. They suggested that we think more deeply about the market position regarding our engineered bacteria and the application scenarios. This was very helpful for us to conceptualize our business plan and helped us to clarify the core of our later presentation to the public.
This collaboration will be of great help to both groups in their future planning priorities, and we are both looking forward to more in-depth exchanges in the future.