-Who said iGEM competition is just experiments and endless hours in the lab?
-How do you spent your free time?
-In our free time we interact with other teams!
Projects in iGEM world
The iGEM team from Delft University of Technology had an idea to make a video from many iGEM teams to share their projects with the world and show what amazing things could be achieved with Synthetic Biology. So, we created a short video about the problem we are solving and the way we are doing this.
As part of our project, our team wrote a song about IBDs. Three teams worked to bring iGEMers together through art. With a lot of effort and, above all, a lot of passion, this beautiful video came out, which you can watch below.
Guitar: iGEM Patras
Piano: iGEM Thessaly
Voice: iGEM Groningen
The iGEM team of Aachen and the iGEM of Darmstadt had an idea to create a paper plane, called iJET. The plane travelled all over the world through iGEM teams! With great pleasure we responded to the creation of a short video and we became a station of the plane’s journey.
Image 1. Front page of the postcard we created.
Image 2. The rear page of the postcard.
Every team designed a postcard based on the context of Synthetic Biology in general or on something related to their project. Due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic our team decided to send the postcard via email and not via post office. Our postcard contained information on IBDs and their effects on the human body (images 1 and 2). Thank you iGEM Düsseldorf for your understanding and willingness to help us.
I’ve Gotta PhD!
Image 3. The QR code that has been
posted on different media platforms.
Image 4. Inspirational message.
This collaboration project from iGEM CSMU Taiwan and iGEM NCKU Taiwan aims to improve the Public Health eDucation. We decided to participate in the “Mental Health” topic, as it is more relevant to our project and design a poster with a QR code (image 3) to boost morale, strengthen the self-esteem and the self-confidence of people who suffer from IBDs. An autoimmune disease can be an enormous burden for a patient. Unfortunately, most people in our country, Greece, tend to hide their condition, due to the fear of social stigma. The QR code has been posted on different media platforms enabling the user to scan it and to be redirected to an inspirational message (image 4).
Due to the pandemic we didn’t have the chance to meet and collaborate with iGEMers from up close, but we were given the opportunity to participate in different online MEETUPs of various teams!
Big Greek Meetup
Image 5. Greek iGEM teams with Athina
Milona (Ambassador) and Leandros Tsiotos
Our team hosted the online Big Greek MeetUp on the 24th-26th of July 2020 for the Greek iGEM teams of Athens and of Patras (image 5), that are going to participate in the competition in 2020. It also provided the opportunity for newly formed teams from Greece (iGEM Crete, iGEM Ioannina, iGEM Nous, iGEM Thessaloniki, iGEM Thrace, that are willing to participate in the competition in 2021) to experience for the first time the concept of Synthetic Biology in and out of iGEM. The Meet Up begun with lectures based on Synthetic Biology, followed by discussions on interesting and interactive projects, covering all aspects of the competition, such as graphic design, wiki management and entrepreneurship , lab and life through iGEM (image 6). Finally, it concluded with presentations of all the teams' projects, as a first simulation of the presentations at the Jamboree.
Program of Big Greek MeetUp: Click
Global meet up
On the 20th-22nd of August 2020, we participated and attended the Global Meetup, which was organized, in order to provide the opportunity for all teams to meet and interact with each other even online. The presentations were really educative and enlightening. On August 21, we took part in the Team Spirit poster session! The posters were about the members of each team, introducing them in a more creative way. We designed a playful poster presenting our team in our own fun way (image 7). The members of our team were transformed into superheroes with the valuable skills of our graphic designer!
Image 7: Members of iGEM Thessaly transformed into
superheroes in the Team Spirit poster session.
MIT Mammalian Μeetup
Image 8. Amalthea: A modular platform for monitoring gastrointestinal
All India iGEM Meet took place on July 31 and August 1. So, we took advantage of the invitation the IISERB iGEM team sent us and attended the virtual meeting, getting the chance to discover more topics on Synthetic Biology.
iGEMeetParis took place on September 5-6, a worldwide virtual meetup hosted by Parisian teams. We participated in the game “Pictionary” and we had a great time guessing and drawing. Finally, we watched many remarkable presentations of the posters of other teams. It was our pleasure to attend.
iGEM TEAM BITSPilani-Goa_India
OhioState iGEM team
After intragroup and intergroup discussion with the iGEM team from the Ohio Stet university, and in line with appropriate biosafety guidelines and paradigms, we have concluded that a two-tier system, utilizing auxotroph bacteria in conjunction with “kill switch” genetic incorporation, would present a viable solution to suppress biosafety concerns. A fruitful collaboration with the IGEM Ohio State university resulted in some interesting alternatives. The iGEM Ohio State university team suggested that we knock out the alaR and IlvE genes from the bacterias’ genome and adding L-alanine, L-valine and leucine inside the capsule for the cells to survive, creating therefor a metaboli auxotroph.
iGEM Maastricht (MSP)
This collaboration is about publishing our work, or anything related to iGEM in a proceedings journal. We participated and wrote a scientific paper about our project titled: Amalthea: A modular platform for monitoring gastrointestinal health. After this, every team participated reviewing one of the others article. This procedure called peer review was to help the new scientists to perfect their articles. A questionnaire was filled about how each part of the article was properly wrote (abstract, introduction, materials and methods etc.) They proposed us to write down the pros and cons of each article. Thank you iGEM MSP for the opportunity you gave us!
During our experimental design we had to find out an E. coli strain having a knock out of a protease, in order to express our protein. After searching we found that team Bielefeld 2014 had constructed strains including this knock out. So we contacted them through email and they sent us a plate with their bacteria (image 9).
Image 9. Tube and plate with the
bacteria that team Bielefeld 2014 send us.
Questionnaire from King’s College London iGEM
The team wanted to determine which identities are present in iGEM and which are underrepresented. Our part in this collaboration was to fill the Questionnaire anonymously.
Thank your Mentor
Inspired by one of the lessons they got through the quarantine, AUC-EGYPT team, invited us for a collaboration called Thank your Mentor. So, we sent them a photo of our wet lab team with our two wonderful advisors, whose pieces of advice guided us throughout the project. Here’s some of their quotes:
Nick: "The point is…" "The important thing is for others to understand what is your point" "Ok, buddy"
Marios: "I would suggest..." "You could do that ...BUT" "Why are you like this?"
And, of course, our message to them: Thank you for putting up with us...but we had to put up with you too <3
Image 10. Wet lab & Advisors
In the pandemic situation we know masks are going to be with us for a long time. So, in order to spread awareness, the team of IISER Berhampur invited us to a fun MASK DESIGNING collaboration, with the theme ‘tv shows and movies’. Our mask was designed by Tasos, a member of our dry lab, inspired by the movie “Hannibal”.
Image 11. Mask inspired by the
The team of Rochester wanted to create a biomarker database for iGEM to provide an easy and free way to search for biomarkers of a disease and see which teams are working with which specific biomarkers. We contributed to their initiative by providing information on the biomarkers that we use in our project; SCFAs (Short-Chain Fatty Acids).
iGEM GW_DC Team
The team of GW_DC organized a creative collaboration to bring us all together. Even though we compete against each other during the Giant Jamboree, we are all united towards one cause: making this world a better and more habitable place. So, this year, to symbolize that, their team has decided to create a collage of all iGEM team's logos. We sent them our team logo to be a part of this gesture that unites us all!
iGEM BITS Goa
In the framework of reciprocal contributions for their Wiki Collaborations section, the team of iGEM BITS Goa, collected the logos of iGEM teams and we had the pleasure of contributing, as well.
IBD in iGEM society
Our team designed questionnaires that were distributed to the iGEM teams. The questionnaires were about to show that people in iGEM who suffer from IBDs are not ashamed to talk about their condition and are able to encourage more people to be open about it and to show to what extent do iGEM participants, or people from their surroundings, suffer from IBDs. It was a chance for each one of us participating to help all of them be heard and raise awareness and that’s why we wanted to make a numeric map from every country. Unfortunately, only eight iGEM teams participate. We want to thank from the bottom of our hearts the UCopenhagen, iGEM Patras, iGEM Rochester, iGEM NCKU Tainan, UPCH_Peru, iGEM IISER Berhampur, TU Delft and CIDosis.
First we read iGEM's policy on Human Subjects Research very carefully. The questions that we provided on the questionnaires were based on International Human Subject Research Resources Contributing to the survey was voluntary and they could suspend its completion or withdraw at any time. Therefore, we adhered to all legal formalities.