Team:FDR-HB Peru/Collaborations

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[ Collaborations ]


Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH_Peru)

As the only other iGEM team in Peru, it only made sense that we collaborated with UPCH_Peru. We worked on two different projects together. The first of these was a series of videos introducing the scientific method, synthetic biology, and both of our team projects aimed towards people in our community, Peru. As part of this, we consistently met to peer review our scripts, storyboards, and create the visual content for our series. A role carried out by our team was in creating common visuals and animations for our videos as well as evaluating the scripts in terms of the target audience. The UPCH team was key in helping us improve our scripts as they had more mastery in Spanish as well as greater experience explaining scientific concepts.

The second project that we collaborated on was a virtual event for Peruvian youth with the goal of developing their curiosity and interest in science, specifically synthetic biology. The organizing team for this virtual workshop was made up of students from both of our teams, making our collaboration of high importance. Members from the UPCH team provided special insight on techniques for making the content engaging. Our team made sure that all the information was presented in an appropriate way for the audience, considering their age and knowledge. This collaboration was very valuable and enriching for both of our teams.

Ray of Hope Video

iGEM KU Leuven team shared a video of encouragement in multiple languages, and tagged other iGEM teams to share a video in the same or a different language. The purpose of this project is to tap into the International Diversity of the iGEM community. With the team members sharing these videos on their personal social media profiles, they wanted to reach out to all corners of the globe.

As the only high school team in Latin America, and further the Southern Hemisphere, we decided to participate in this challenge. Using the fact that our team is composed of international students, we could use diverse languages such as English, Spanish, Korean, Italian, Japanese, Polish, German, French, and even sign language.

Here is our script:
English: Hello everyone. This is FDR-HB Peru iGEM team and we are participating in Ray of Hope Challenge.
Spanish: We want to send you this video to let you know that you are not alone in these difficult times and that we are going through this all together.
Korean: The lockdown of COVID-19 has forced many of us to stay home. But that does not mean this time has to be boring.
Italian: You could start doing things you always wanted to do like drawing, yoga, cooking. You choose!
Japanese: Also, spend some quality time with your family, and keep in touch with your friends.
Polish: Of course, follow social distancing norms.
Sign language: And don’t forget to thank the doctors.
German: But above all, we hope you can still enjoy this iGEM experience.
French: Take care of yourselves and we hope to hear from you soon!

This video is uploaded not only on our team’s YouTube channel but also on our Instagram page. With the iGEM community at our side, we hope to reach out to citizens across the world and spread a bit of hope and positivity.

High-School Meetup

One of the larger collaborations we carried out this iGEM season was hosting a high-school meetup for high-school iGEM teams worldwide. Our goal with this meetup was to find common ground between our projects to then find ways to collaborate; hence, our slogan: “Share, connect, and inspire.”

While we intended for this meeting to primarily connect teams together, we also wanted to add some educational value to the meetup, which is why we decided to invite Dr. Cristina Guerra, one of the professors at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. As a scientist who is using biology to solve real-world issues every day, we asked her to share some of her work and experiences she’s had in the field of molecular biology. Most recently, she has reoriented her efforts to develop a “kit to detect SARS-CoV-2 in a fast, cheap, and efficient protocol based on CRISPR/Cas.” Therefore, we believed that having a scientist speak about their experience in applying synthetic biology on a significant and relevant issue affecting all of our lives was a great idea and would add significant educational value to the meetup.

In terms of spreading the word around the iGEM community about this meetup, we used social media to reach out to different high-school teams. We created graphics to make it more appealing for teams to attend the meeting:

IGEM Tuebingen Team

We met with a member of iGEM Tuebingen that is knowledgeable about freeze-drying cell-free systems so that she could coach us through our freeze-drying experiments. She sent us successful freeze-drying protocols so that we could base our experiments off them and suggested the use of a T7 promoter for better compatibility with the cell-free system, which we have included in one of our parts. Plus, she showed us iGEM Bielefeld’s wiki from 2015 which was also focused on cell-free detection of heavy metals and walked us through the problems they encountered so that we could adapt our experiments…

IGEM Lambert_GA Team

We first talked to members of Lambert High School’s iGEM team on July 18 in an online meetup with the purpose of finding ways our teams could collaborate. We were able to find some middle ground on our mathematical modeling and software projects, since some of our members had experience with coding and we needed feedback on our approach to mathematically modeling our project. Overall, we were able to achieve a mutually beneficial connection that greatly helped both our teams.