With team BUCT-China
Both of the BUCT-China team and our team have paid attention to the problem of plastic degradation this year. They tried to degrade PE and its products and applied Bacillus subtilis surface display technology to improve the thermal stability of the enzyme. After exchanges and discussions, we believe that surface display technology is also a good way to improve enzyme activity and thermal stability, which can be used to improve the thermal stability of PETase, providing new ideas for our experiments next year. And our rational design ideas also gave them new inspiration.
BUCT-China provides us with an idea to further synthesize high value-added products. They provided us with their part:
For PET degradation products, such as MHET has a hydroxyl group and a carboxyl group, the part they constructed can be used to synthesize new products using two enzymes, Coa ligase and acyltransferase.
With team St Andrews
We were invited to participate in Synthetic Biology Forum, which theme is Will GMOs shape the future of humanity? , held by the St Andrews iGEM team. The event will be delivered online through Zoom as a panel discussion between five experts from different fields and a Q&A part. The content of the discussion covered the environmental impact of GMO, the computational modelling of biochemical processes within bacterial cells, sustainable biotechnology, DNA vector research and so on.
With team NEFU_China
Team leader Shuying Wu introduced to them the experimental process and HP of our team project. The students of the NEFU_China team were very interested in our project and put forward many questions and suggestions. We exchanged and discussed about the bioinformatics software we used, the method of selecting mutations, the method of screening mutants, the software used for kinetic simulation, and whether to consider surfactants. Their practical investigations on the degradation of plastics are very rich and provide a lot of new ideas for our HP. In the survey, it was found that the public generally did not understand microplastics, and suggested that we can carry out related popular science activities. They think that our project is a very good solution to improve the application value of PET. A lot of work has been done on HP, but they think we can also communicate with the Environmental Protection Bureau and the Environmental Bureau. They hope that our project results can be better applied to practice.
With team Fudan
In August 2020, we got in touch with Fudan, hoping to reach a cooperation with them. After discussing the projects of this two teams this year, we decided to hold a summer camp for junior and senior high school students on line, mainly using the app Tencent Meeting. During the summer camp lasting two days, students from our team explained the knowledge about synthetic biology and our iGEM project, expecting to stimulate their interest in biology, synthetic biology and iGEM. Meanwhile, we invited Yaxin Wang, the lecturer of School of Life Sciences in TJU, to give a academic lecture on COVID-2019, which was expacted to have them understand the knowledge of virus.
Thanks a lot to our cooperation and communication and the summer camp we held, we have realized that the biodegradation of plastics is actually not well known by many people, and the public does not have enough consideration on plastic pollution. At the same time, our recognization on the importance of our projects to the environment has been deepened. Therefore, we will put much more energy into our project.
With team ZJU-China
In September 2020, we launched an online communication about project with the ZJU-China team. After listening to the ZJJU-China on the design ideas of using magnetosomes to target breast cancer cells to assist MRI imaging detection, we felt that their project was very valuable, and asked about their experimental progress and HP work. We also introduced to them our project on PET degradation this year. They affirmed the significance of our project and became interested in the enzymes we studied and how to verify the thermal stability and activity of the enzymes. We exchanged opinions and provided new ideas for the team’s follow-up work.
With team University of Rochester
University of Rochester iGEM team invites us to participate in their SAA(science as art) initiative. We sent them an artwork about the correct use of science. Art is limitless, just like science they both require a certain level of creativity in order to come up with the unthinkable.
With team NJU-China & WHU-China
We communicated and cooperated with the WHU-China and NJU-China teams in project progress, wiki production, questionnaire design and promotion.
With team NCKU_Tainan
Due to network restrictions, we cannot obtain information about plastic degradation overseas. For this, we contacted the NCKU_Tainan team. They made suggestions for revision of the questionnaire we designed and helped us to promote it overseas.