1. Registration and Giant Jamboree Attendance
Our iGEM 2020 team application was accepted by iGEM Headquarters on 2020-05-21.
2. Competition Deliverables
Wiki: The set of webpages you are probably currently browsing through.
Poster: To be released on the 10th of November, in anticipation of the Jamboree.
Presentation: To be uploaded by the 30th of October, in anticipation of the Jamboree.
Judging Form: See here.
Our project was aimed at attempting to breathe new life into the colorectal cancer (CRC) screening process both in the UK and worldwide, by providing an alternative testing kit based on the presence of colibactin-producing bacterial strains in the intestines of patients. Read more on our Description page.
Due to the lack of wet lab access, our contribution was dry-lab based - more specifically, discovering UPF-CPG Barcelona's Polybiome project and further characterising one of the parts they used - FMS1, a polyamine oxidase - on the Parts Registry, using existing scientific literature. Read more on our Contribution page.
1. Engineering Success
Our whole project was built around the design cycle: research, design, build, test, learn, improve, rinse and repeat. We carried out in silico work and planned out wet lab experiments in order to obtain the best results possible but sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, not everything we had planned was within our power to do.
Even more interestingly, the conclusion of our project was different than we anticipated, even when factoring in the lack of wet lab access!
A timeline of our engineering process can be found on our Engineering page.
We had the pleasure of collaborating with many different teams on many different aspects of an iGEM project, including hosting and attending virtual meetups, mentoring a team, outlining Sustainable Development Goals and... making an iGEM bingo card?
Read more on our Collabs page!
3. Human Practices
We had the privilege and pleasure of interviewing many different specialists in both biosensor development, cancer diagnosis and medical uses of AI who gave us advice on what form our project should take in order to be used in the real world.
We documented all of this in a timeline which you can see on our Human Practices page!
4. Proposed Implementation
We considered a variety of issues that the implementation of our testing kit would raise, and attempted to propose solutions to them, as well as presenting how existing healthcare infrastructure could easily adapt to incorporate our testing kit to bring its benefits to as many people as possible!
Read more on our Implementation page!
1. Integrated Human Practices
Remember what we said about asking for advice from professionals? Well, it turns out that it did not fall on deaf ears here at iGEM Warwick! We endeavoured to integrate their guidance into our project to the best of our ability, leading us to make informed changes to our project, and even consider weird and exciting ideas such as synergies between synthetic biology and AI to screen for cancer with minimal human error.
Read more on our Human Practices page!
2. Science Communication
If our project has taught us anything, it's that a testing kit is useless if nobody shows up to get tested. This is why we created posters detailing the risks of colorectal cancer, as well as the benefits of early diagnosis, and distributed them!
In addition, we created lessons-in-a-box for teachers to use at their convenience - the content of these lessons was designed to stimulate students' curiosity and introduce to them the field of synthetic biology, hopefully doing our part in bringing together the next generation of experts.
All this, and more, can be found on our Science Communication page!