In this summer, our team attended several meetings organized by other iGEM teams. We have learned a lot from these meetings by interacting with other teams. We are also benefited from exchanging ideas and initiating collaborations during these meetings. On the other hand, our idea about the synthetic biology platform also synergized with other team’s project.
July 30, 2017：The fifth Asian iGEM Conference
The fifth Asian IGEM Conference was held in National Ciao Tong University in Taiwan in early August this year. Around 15 Mainland teams including our team, together with 20 Taiwan teams, 1 Japan team and 1 US team shared ideas and thoughts with each other, and enjoyed wonderful and unforgettable days in NCTU campus.
This conference held by team NCTU_Formosa was originally an internal meeting between teams in Taiwan, and now it has become an important activity for pan-Pacific iGEM teams. Our team members enrolled in this conference to communicate with other teams with different culture background about our project’s idea and philosophy.
We received several valuable feedbacks about the poster and presentation of our project from other team members and instructors. Those great suggestions turned out to be essential for our later work, mostly for human practice and hardware design. During the conference, we also reached a cooperative intention with team USTC, and we finally made an effective collaboration.
Thoughts were spread, and friendship were made in this 4-day-conference, we also enjoyed fantastic city tours in Hsinchu and Taipei. We would like to extend sincere gratitude to the host, team NCTU, and all the participator of this unforgettable midsummer voyage.
August 19, 2017: Fablab open night for iGEM
In the evening of August 19th, we went to Tongji University for the opening night for iGEMer hosted Fablab workshop.
Fablab originates from a course called "how to create anything" by professor Gershenfeld. Fablab is generally equipped with a 3D printer, a print circuit, the lathes and other instruments for guests to create anything they want in the workshop. The Fablab we went also had some biological elements. It has a series of equipment can be used for biological experiments. Fablab believes that the passion to create new things is most important to gain knowledge . The concept of the Fablab and the spirit of iGEM are so similar in this aspect. The “maker” in Fablab is full of curiosity and has the potential to be an iGEMer.
The main activity of the opening night started with project introductions from iGEM teams of East China University of Science and Technology, Fudan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Tongji University and our team. Since “the key element” of our project, the robot, is designed for nonprofessional person, we hope someday “makers” can create something unique using our platform.
August 26, 2017: Central China iGEM Consortium
In August 26, 2017, we visited Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU) in Fuzhou, where this year's CCIC (Central China iGEM Consortium) meeting venue was held. As a communication platform of iGEMers in China, CCiC is hosted by different schools each year and is organized by students independently.
During this meeting, we communicated extensively with dozens of iGEM teams from all over the country through the poster session and an oral presentation about our MagicBlock project. In addition, our team leader Mingzhe Chen also delivered a special talk to introduce the quorum sensing system. The brief three-day visit was fully filled with project reports from different teams and keynote speeches from invited guests. This is a very rewarding experience for us. Some teams with more experience of participating in the iGEM competition shared their ideas and designs of experiments, which enlightened us a lot. At the same time, we were also glad that we could offer assistance to other teams when they encountered difficulties.
In addition to organize the communication between teams, the organizers of CCIC also invited Dr. Haoqian Zhang, a former senior iGEMer, and Professor Oye from iGEM headquarter to share their insights and experience in iGEM competition. These people have profound understandings and extensive research experience in synthetic biology. We sought advice from them to solve the problems we encountered before. We were very excited about what we leaned from this meeting as one team member said: “the advice we got in CCIC is much more worth than all the experiments we have done during the summer break", which is the genuine significance of CCiC.