Our biggest collaboration was with TAS Taipei team. We chose this team since their project is also focused on isothermal amplification and tests which can be used by people with no experience. Thus, we contacted TAS Taipei team and decided to have a virtual meeting. During the meeting they introduced us to their ideas, whereas we shared main aspects of our project. Next, we talked about what kind of experiments each team was doing, what were the similarities and the advantages of amplification methods. After our presentations, we shared our project’s problems that we were facing. Since TAS Taipei team had some issues with protein synthesizing and purification, we gladly offered some advice to them.
After discussing detection test specificity and sensitivity, we started to talk about modeling and human practices. When we told TAS Taipei team about our Bioblox gaming tournament, they were extremely excited to participate in it. In fact, they help us to promote this game in their school, as there was a wide range of students from elementary school pupils to high school students. Since they had a class dedicated to synthetic biology and organized a Bioblox gaming session during the class, we managed to reach our target audience.
On our second virtual meeting with TAS Taipei team we gathered some feedback about our Bioblox game. They thought that this game is most suitable for elementary or middle school children, and even though the game was rather time consuming, it was especially entertaining. Next, TAS Taipei team was interested in “The 6th SynBio Sense'' project, its concept, how to use it and the educational value to the society. In return, we helped TAS Taipei team to spread their survey, since they wanted to collect people’s knowledge and opinion on viral detection.
Furthermore, during the call we discussed TAS Taipei team’s problems regarding their protein purification as the bands on the gel did not match the correct protein size. We suggested checking the buffers that they were using because sometimes composition of it alters protein solubility. In addition, we told them to change the pH of their buffer and shared some methods on how to find problems in their laboratory work. After some time, our team received the news that our advice to change the buffer pH, NaCl concentration and to use an alternative protein tag helped and they were able to successfully purify the protein.
We took part in an iJET collaboration with an aim of reaching out and connecting teams all over the world. iGEM Teams Aachen and TU Darmstadt organized this collaboration and we enthusiastically joined in. iJET is a paper plane which symbolizes that even during the pandemic, when we cannot meet in real life, we still share the same sky, it connects us and reminds to us that we are all in this together! Teams from all over the world took part in making this video in which we pass around a paper plane with an iJET symbol. We are very happy and thankful to all of the teams, initiators for making this video and connecting in a creating way.
Traditionally, our team took part in iGEM Postcards collaboration. We made a postcard with our FlavoFlow project description and one of our QR code and AR maker to view a 3D model from the “The 6th SynBio Sense'' project with our team logo. We sent 50 postcards to other teams, in turn, we got 50 back from other teams. It was very interesting to read all of the descriptions of other iGEM teams projects.
We also collaborated with the UiOslo Norway iGEM team. They were looking for other teams who could review their mathematical model code on GitHub. Our IT team members Kamilė and Paulius reached out to them, reviewed their code as well as gave feedback on how they could improve it. While most of our comments were about the readability of the code (e.g. proper documentation), others were focused on code reproducibility and ease of usage. We asked if they could test the functionality and usability of the website for the “The 6th SynBio Sense'' project. In return we received helpful information about some of the bugs in our website that were tested on different devices, operating systems and browsers. Because of it we made the website even more accessible to non-lithuanian speakers and users on Linux based operating systems. Later in the follow-up feedback process we also gave them some insight about usage of Three.js library to import 3D models in a website, but since it is not possible to upload 3D models into iGEM file server, they were not able to implement it in their wiki page. Overall, this collaboration was a useful experience that helped us improve our project “6th SynBio sense” and code reviewing skills.