Team:BOKU Vienna -

These are Our Collaboration Partners!

International exchange and collaboration is an important pillar of the iGEM competition. In this spirit we took the chance to get to know other teams and their projects. Beside our project-related partnership with iGEM team TU Delft (see our tab “Partnership”), we supported team Brno in their first participation in the iGEM competition which was an honour to us. Furthermore, we engaged in smaller, playful collaborations with several other teams. You can read all about it below!

Chit chat on Monday 8th of June

On the 8th of June, we joined the Zoom-Talk “Let’s talk about our Microbiome!” hosted by iGEM team Paris Bettencourt. We gained fascinating insights into the microbiome on our skins and how it is influenced by our environment. Beyond our interest in this topic, we were exploring if our topics would be suitable for a meaningful collaboration as we both focused on bacteria in humans. Unfortunately, our projects were too different. Still, we had a great time chatting and gained a whole new view onto our skin!

The “Sound of iGEM” Collaboration

Music can connect people like scarcely anything else. As all of our team members have special memories with music or just like to listen to it a lot, we thought the “Sound of iGEM” collaboration was a beautiful idea by iGEM team IISER_Bhopal. Every team could add five of their favorite songs to a shared Spotify playlist for the other teams to listen to. We had so much fun choosing our five songs but we enjoyed listening to the songs from the other teams even more! What a great way to experience international differences in trending and famous music!

The “Lab Slang” Collaboration

The more time we spent in the lab and the closer we got as friends, the more slouchy our speech in the lab became. Thank god we were not the only team to experience this! In fact, the iGEM team of Estonia TUIT developed so many slang terms in their lab that they decided to post this on their social media pages and encourage other teams to do the same. We happily joined them in this collaboration to show off a few of our slang terms and posted them on September 24. We also spread the collaboration by nominating more iGEM teams to share their slang. What a fun way to connect beyond language barriers!

Glycis ↔ Glycerol Stocks
Traffo ↔ Transformation
Bacs ↔ Bacteria
Goldies ↔ Golden Gate Clones
Promies ↔ Promotors
Schwarzeneggers ↔ Terminators

Project Collaboration with TU Delft

On the 29th of May the iGEM team TU Delft contacted us to discuss a potential collaboration. They suggested that we might be able to support each other through a collaboration as our approach seemed very similar to their project PHOCUS. Over the course of the next months, we had video calls, exchanged many emails and even shared experiments. So our collaboration evolved into a partnership. A more detailed description can be found in the tab Partnership .

Collaboration with Team MSP-Maastricht

The Team MSP-Maastricht hosted a treasure hunt on instagram which we did not want to miss! They announced to reward the winning teams with a guaranteed spot in their scientific journal and a youtube collaboration. We were very excited to try our luck as treasure hunters! For 5 days they posted a daily quest on their instagram story. The solution words were hints to the final password which we sent to team MSP-Maastricht. In a live Instagram session they announced the winning teams. We were lucky to win a youtube collaboration with them and immediately began the planning of our video contribution. For this, we had a virtual meet-up.We are very happy with the result. You can watch our video on YouTube or on our Science Communication site.

Collaboration with Team Brno

Our collaboration with Team Brno started early in the iGEM year. Team Brno contacted us in the first month of the competition and asked for mentorship because it was their first time participating in the iGEM competition. The geographical proximity of our cities seemed to be a great chance to stay in close contact throughout the whole year. Little did we know what 2020 had to offer and that a global pandemic would make it necessary to find ways to connect with each other virtually. Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 infections around the world, we cancelled our planned life-meet up in March and decided to keep interacting virtually throughout this year’s iGEM season. For this we had a few zoom meet-ups and also a joint Slack channel. Each of our teams could always ask for help if needed. Beyond that we also exchanged ideas regarding public outreach. When Team Brno told us about their idea to create quizzes for the public and also distribute them on their website we were very happy to be able to contribute to their online courses with a quiz about viruses in gene therapy. You can take the course Friends with the enemy: Viruses in Gene Therapy online. To further support each other's teams we shared each other's promotion video via social media. Additionally, Team Brno provided us with all their education materials which we enjoyed reading and gave us an insight in many interesting scientific fields. The collaboration with Team Brno was rewarding in many ways!

Postcard collaboration of Team Düsseldorf

The postcard collaboration hosted by the iGEM Team Düsseldorf seemed like a great opportunity to get an insight what other iGEM teams are up to - thus we decided to join and send 50 postcards lovingly designed and with a short description of our project to Düsseldorf. After weeks of suspenseful waiting, we finally received the postcards on October 8. The designing of our postcard was so much fun and we hope that the other participating iGEM teams also received our postcard! Thanks again to our friend Sophia Horak, who drew the front side of our postcard!

Check out our Postcard drawn by Sophia Horak

A Children’s Book from Delft

On October 7, our partners in Delft invited us to join them in a collaboration to promote the usefulness of phages to young children. They wrote and illustrated a beautiful book (german version here) about phage Fred and its quest for a bacteria friend. It is meant to introduce children to the wonders of microbiology and science and raise awareness of bacteriophages. In the end of the book, they introduced their project and what good phages can do in the world. We helped them to spread the story and their vision by translating the book into German, adding a description of our project and bringing it to children. We were able to show it to the kids in the elementary school Brünnerstraße 139, 1210 Vienna and to the kids in the kindergarten of our university Boku. They all loved the story of Fred and his adventures. Thank you very much for sharing the material, TU Delft!