Along all the journey that we have followed during the iGEM 2020 edition we have had many opportunities to share experiences, feelings and activities with different teams all around the world! All of them can be found here!
Our first mention goes to our friends in Lisbon, from the NOVA LxPortugal iGEM team, with which we had the pleasure to meet twice. Firstly we organized an afternoon meeting in order to gain feedback from one another. The second time, and the most memorable one, we both organised the first ever Iberian Meetup, since this 2020 iGEM edition has been the first one having a portuguese team we could not lose the chance! That led to such an interesting and funny afternoon, we could share advice and ideas for overcoming obstacles in the competition and after some hours of deep talks we played a quite crazy PowerPoint Karaoke. To make the most of this event a timetable was scheduled dividing the afternoon in different time zones. The first half an hour served as an introduction, then we spent one hour and a half debating in groups which were created depending on the role played by each iGEMer in his/her team (communication, experiments, computational or human practices), finally we could put all the information in common for around half an hour and after such a nice wrap-up we played karaoke. Guess who won the PowerPoint Karaoke?
Another team that we had the opportunity to meet was the Maastricht team thanks to their Journal Initiative which we took part in. This was such a long relationship since the process contained all the real steps, from a first approach with an abstract and a more developed article later to a finally corrected paper thanks to the peer review of partners from other teams. Of course we also contributed to this peer review phase, in particular helping the Maastricht and Copenhagen teams (which we were assigned) to enhance their articles.
Postcard collaboration, troubleshooting and podcast participation!
We don’t forget either our collaboration with the team from Düsseldorf, who are working on their project Mossphate. The first time we had the chance to know them was due to their postcard initiative, which we took part in by sending our own postcard. You can appreciate it below!
However, that is not all, we are glad to say that we could also help them with the development of their project in the design phase. By organising a meetup we could advise them about what steps to follow for an in silico simulation of their photobioreactor, for instance by recommending them softwares such as Autodesk for 3D design of bodies or Ansys for computational fluid dynamics.
Moreover, some days later we could interview them in our podcast where both teams enjoyed a lot! During the interview we shared our ideas on synthetic biology and on the iGEM competition itself. Moreover, application and goal definition processes were discussed. At the end, both teams agreed on the fact that iGEM team members tend to have similar backgrounds, reducing thus its diversity and the opportunity to tackle problems from totally different perspectives. Therefore, here goes our recommendation for future iGEMers: open the doors of your team to mathematicians, physicists, audiovisual communication experts or even artists!
Collaborating with the TU Delft team in their compilation of videos sent by teams all around the world briefly explaining their projects was also amazing! In fact we have to congratulate them for the cool result that they achieved, it looked really well! When they asked for us to translate the subtitles of their video to Spanish we were really willing to do so, helping to disseminate how iGEM works is always a good idea.
iGEM Global Meetup
Furthermore, we were also present at the iGEM Global Meetup organising the first ever iGEM Bingo which we can say that it was such a success! We were proposed to organise another edition for the Final Jamboree so we will work on that for sure. There, apart from having an awesome time playing with different teams, we met the BITS Goa team from India who were the winners of one of the games. We really got on well with them and decided to invite them to one of our podcast interviews, where we both learnt about our projects.
We also made an independent collaboration with our iGEM bingo friends. We had a podcast session where we decided to invite the BITS goa team, on which we could talk in detail about our projects. Learning about other teams and their perspective about iGEM competition and synthetic biology is one of the most important gains we obtained from these collaborations.
Translating video subtitles
It seems that iGEM has become quite popular in Greece, do you know that in this 2020 edition there are up to 3 greek iGEM teams? We had the opportunity to get to know the Patras team. They asked for us to translate the lyrics of their promotional video to Spanish, of course we did not reject!