Through collaboration, BHSF iGEM has received valuable and inspiring suggestions on our project Khronos and has been sincerely helping and supporting iGEM community using our own thoughts and knowledge. We participated in two meetups, two bio fairs and collaborated with several teams.
Collaborations with Keystone
Our teams shared a lab with team Keystone this summer in Beijing. While focusing on our own experiments, we provided help to each other’s project to the best of our ability, such as assisting their experiment when we were vacant.
Also, we provided some advices to each other’s project, helping the other team to improve their experiment plans, maximizing the efficiency and probability of a successful experiment of both projects.
Here’s their wiki：
Collaborations with BJ101HS
We got contact with team BJ101HS to work with us in the same lab and helped each other’s project. Since their project is also about food—production of artificial milk, we discuss the problem of food safety. We give each other suggestions about how to establish a firm guarantee in our projects’ design.
Here’s their wiki:
Collaboration with QHFZ-China
Though our teams didn’t do a lot experiments together, we provided help for each other’s project while focusing on our own experiments, such as advertising their project and offer help with their bio fair and meetup, as well as encouraging each other.
Also, we offered some improvement tips to each other’s project, helping them to make perfect their circuit design and experiments, sharing experience on human practices, thus, the efficiency of experiments of both projects can be maximized.
Here’s their wiki:
Attend the 4th Southern China Regional Online Meeting
We submitted a delicate PowerPoint document and project overview to the 4th Southern China Regional Online Meeting. During the preliminary stage, each of the teams submitted a video about their projects, and our team was selected as one of five teams to give a live presentation on the meeting because of our excellence in our video. In the vote stage after the meet-up, due to the fantastic preparation we made and the standout communication of answering and discussing the suggestions and concerns from our audiences, many teams got inspired by us. The experiences we shared and the future plan we made also received the comment as “super helpful”. Moreover, this presentation also won the prize of “the best presentation” in this meeting.
1. In this meet up we mainly shared about the experimental experiences with other teams and listened to their experience during experiments.
2. By attending the meeting, we got a lot information about iGEM this year and other teams.
3.We received the concerns of food safety when we mentioned we wanted to use toxic substance to kill the yeast. One team thought it might be better to make the yeast’s gene not to be expressed so that some of the proteins cannot be produced anymore, which gave us a bright and inspiring idea on our design.
4.After the meetup, we established a WeChat group chat for teams to communicate. Henceforth, teams have been posting collaboration requests, activity promotions, and important announcements in the group chat, maintaining active cooperation.
Beijing International iGEMer Collaboration Seminar
This meet up is an online seminar between different iGEM teams, held by QHFZ-China in August.
Teams shared their ideas, discussed their needs, and gained opportunities to collaborate with each other. Professionals in synthetic biology and other related fields as well as award winning iGEM teams were also invited to give each team feedbacks and help.
There were 11 teams attending the meetup. The high school teams were BHSF, BJ101HS, BNDS_China, JNFLS, KEYSTONE, Nanjing NFLS, NFLS, RDFZ-China and QHFZ-China. Besides, we also invited two undergrad teams to join us. They were Tsinghua and BUCT-China.
1. Other teams pointed out some shortcomings of our project, made some suggestions on experiment, presentation and human practice, which are instructive in making further improvements. For the experiment part, they asked us is the toggle switch model’s easy to be controlled during the fermentation, especially the timing process, which drove us to be cautious when we are designing the details about the genetic pathways. As for the presentation, some teams thought we should make the description of breads’ making process, so they might be more easily to understand the value of our project. For the human practice part, some teams thought we could make a survey to know more about the difficulties during making breads from public. In the meetup, our project deficiencies were noticed, and suggestions provided by participants greatly help us to improve our project.
2. We received the suggestions about how our design can be applied in the process of secondary fermentation. A member of other teams gives out a solution of adding a new protein in the genetic pathways to turn over the toggle switch again, after the first turn over which starts the first fermentation process.
3. We received the suggestion about modeling from NFLS; they suggested us try to make a timing model first, before we try to add the protein which controls the start of secondary fermentation in lab.
4. In this meet up we presented our project in English for the first time. It was very helpful for us when we were making our promotion video.
6. After the meetup, we got contact with team KEYSTONE, and we shared the experiences in lab. Then we shared our data and compared the difference about handling prokaryotes (their project about using bacteria to handle PET plastic) and eukaryotes (our project about yeast) in some processes, such as the transformation of DNA. Our teams also participated each other’s experiments in the lab. In the next few weeks, we also join the project about spreading the knowledges about synthetic biology to the public by making a game cartoon; we focused majorly on telling the history of synthetic biology, although the product has not been made yet(it will come out in the near future).
Our team collaborated with Keystone Academy to hold a Syn BioFair held in Keystone Academy on September 19th, 2020. The purpose of the fair was to introduce synthetic biology and genetic engineering to the public. The team Keystone, IBOWU-China, UCAS-China, BJ101HS, RDFZ-China also attended the fair.
With joined efforts from all teams, we introduced our projects and promoted synthetic biology on the fair. We also exchanged opinions on our projects with other teams and collected suggestions from the visitors.
After a couple of weeks of anticipation and planning, teams from different schools in Beijing gathered to the Keystone Academy on September 19th, prepared to the opening of the fair. Keystone Academy offered their school center for the bio fair as well as the opportunity to communicate with other teams and the guests. During the fair, we studied other team’s works, appreciated various colorful ideas and projects from us teenagers.
In the fair, we obligated ourselves to the arrangement of desks and posters for the teams. Also, since the visitors consisted largely of juveniles, our introduction of synthetic biology can enlarge their interests. We also lent our posters to Keystone for their further fairs held in other schools.
During the COVID time, face-to-face conversations became especially rare. Bio fair provides us the precious opportunity to communicate with the visitors and see public perception of our project.
The fair also helps us figure out the big problem of the application of our projects especially for the teams with their project related to food: the untrust of genetic engineering in the public. Many people do not trust the technology of synthetic biology and believe that operation on genes can cause health problems (cancer is the most common rumor). Spreading the positive information of genetic engineering is another thing we have to do. Not only us, but also the teams around the world.