Our plasmid pETDuet-1 was donated by ZJUT_China_B:
In our project, we need to transfer two plasmids into E. coli for expressing the enzymes related to the production of bacterial cellulose. We encountered difficulty when we did the transformation. After several failure attempt, we consulted the ZJUT_China_B, which is a university team. They told us that we can use one plasmid pETDuet-1 to deal with that problem because this vector can be inserted two genes at the same time. It is a bi-expression vector containing two promoters. And they donated this vector to us. This plasmid is crucial for us to clone genes. It is really a help! We appreciate them very much!
NWU-CHINA-A troubleshoot the overlapping PCR for our project:
Due to the large number of designed cloning genes, which are needed to be amplified from acetobacter xylinus by PCR firstly, these genes are required to be connected to form a polycistron by overlapping PCR. Then the polycistron is cloned into the expression vector. For our senior high school students, it was the first time that we perform PCR experiment. Ordinary PCR was relatively easy, but when we were doing the overlapping PCR, we encountered difficulties. After many times failure, we consulted a university team NWU-CHINA-A. With their help, we changed some of the conditions of overlapping PCR, and finally successfully completed it to get a polycistron containing 6 different genes.
We made Synbio Game with Keystone School:
In early July, we participated in the game design activity sponsored by Keystone, which main purpose is to increase the interest in Synthetic biology for junior high school students and primary school students in a vivid and interesting form and raise publicity of iGEM. The name of the game is Xue Shengwu’s Adventure, and the main character’s name has the same Chinese pronunciation as learning biology. After several meetings online, each team was assigned a different task. In the Wechat group, we discussed a lot about painting styles and designing software like Power Points and Keynote. Mutual help and experience exchange between art designers in each team made our work process more efficient and harmonious. We designed combined activity neutralization, PCR and site directed mutagenesis by the conversational approach between main characters. What’s more, our teammates designed the background music in the game to refine the user experience and keep users engaged. Due to the time limitation, we didn’t finish the visualization of all chapters. The IGEM team from the International Center of Jinan Foreign Language School may continue cooperation with the Keystone and other iGEM teams. After the game cooperation, we also participated in the online meet-up with Keystone, Nanjing Foreign Language School and other iGEM teams in Beijing to introduce our project and receive the professional feedback that was beneficial for enhancing our research project.
Experimental Material acetobacter xylinum donated by BNDS_China:
The team BNDS_China donated their experiment material acetobacter xylinum to us, which plays a significant role in our experiment. We planned to use E.coli to express the bacterial cellulose, which is produced originally in acetobacter xylinum. So we need the acetobacter xylinum as our experimental control. However, it needs certain time and funds to get it. Luckily, after the display of each groups online, we surprisingly found that there are some similarities of topic between JNFLS and BNDS_China. They also expressed highly passionate to corporate with us. We had a persistent connection for a long time, fortunately, the BNDS_China team provided us with acetobacter xylinum after hearing our experimental plans. We appreciated them for their help.
Participate Online Meet-up held by QHFZ-China:
On August 1st, we participated in the online meet-up, which the purpose of this meet-up is to learn about others’ research projects and make some further improvement on our project. After introducing our project, other teams have raised questions about the electrical conductivity of bacterial cellulose. However, we have already released concerns about it before starting the experiment. Moreover, we found that the NFLS team and BDNS_China team had some similarities with our research project so that we were going to get closer contact with them in order to facilitate mutual experiments. Last but not the least, we learned a lot of great ideas and up-to-data knowledge. For instance, the research direction of Beijing University of Chemical Technology(BUCT) team is the degradation and reuse of eupolymer, which requires more professional and in-depth knowledge that may be not accessible for high school students. To sum up, this meet-up has offered an ideal platform and a collaborative environment for iGEMers.
Animation about the Projects of Cellulose:
After the online meeting-up on August 1st, we got in contact with NFLS, a team with similar research goals, they focused on the decomposition of bacteria cellulose, while our goal is on making masks out of the cellulose. From this point of view, both teams have inseparable connection with bacteria cellulose. We used the companion animations as the first page background of the two team wiki. Both of the two animation are painted by our team member. Besides that, we learned from the survey that the public isn’t particularly knowledgeable about this compound, the values and the prospects of bacteria cellulose are underestimated. We decided to do a comic broadcasting it, to let the whole society know the compound’s potential, after three meetings, we did allocations of the work-flow, and narrowed it down to everyone. Half a month later, our stories and settings are completely done, we then moved on to designing the comic. Due to a lack of time, we may not be able to finish the full comic in time, but we will continue doing it until it’s complete, then we would do a full on broadcast on the topic.
Participate Online Meet-up 7th CCIC in China:
At the end of August, we participated the online meet-up 7th CCIC in China. In this long meeting, we shared and modified our projects. And we learned lot of knowledge of synthetic biology reported by some good researcher in this field.