Fostering relationships within their synthetic biology community is a crucial component to the iGEM journey. By collaborating with other teams, we were able to aid our peers across the world while getting to know them a little better. Team VesiCure collaborated with iGEM teams by answering surveys, exchanging protocols, planning experiments and participating in an international effort to spread awareness and make synthetic biology more popular.
Oxford University collaboration
The University of Oxford iGEM team also spent the summer working with outer membrane vesicles and constructing fusion proteins. By Skyping with their team, we had the opportunity to discuss different OMV purification protocols and exchange ideas about mathematical modeling translocation pathways, protein size considerations for export and periplasmic targeting.
In our project we have used signal sequences to direct a large protein (saCas9) to the bacterial periplasm. We have used Gibson assembly multiple times to switch between different signal sequences. UIUC is working on developing a cheaper, but equally effective, Gibson assembly method. We collaborated with UIUC and prepared a cloning experiment swapping signal sequences to test their new protocol.
Our team also participated in an international effort to make synthetic biology more popular by exchanging postcards with different teams. We received hundreds of postcards from the US and Europe, which we shared with the Synthetic biology club at Northwestern (GeneMods) and used to decorate our lab space. Our very own postcard can be seen below. Thanks Cologne Duesseldorf for this great initiative!