Science is a collaborative endeavor.
Conference of Central China iGEM Community
From August 26th to 28th, Conference of Central China iGEM Community (CCiC) was held in FA-FU, FuJian. We sent 6 members to attend this meeting.
With the help of exchanging ideas, all the teams got numerous feedbacks from others, including suggestions on the of experiments, heated discussions on circuit design, and reflections on safety and application. TUST_China performed well during the presentation and poster section. Meanwhile, we also provided many useful suggestions to other iGEM teams during communication. It’s worth mentioning that we won the award of the best poster.
Three meetups with team Tianjin
On March 7, 2017, we joined the John Cumbers Meet-and-Greet with the invite of team Tianjin. After that, we discussed our initial plan of our project.
We also invited them to our school and shared our project design and got advice on presentation on March 24, 2017.
In October, we discussed with team Tianjin about how our project were implemented. During the meeting, we pointed out the problems about each other's projects. Furthermore, we asked for advice.
- Portal to Team Tianjin
Communication of five teams at Nankai University
In August, we are invited to attend the communication held in the School of Life Sciences of Nankai University with four iGEM teams. There, we met and exchanged ideas with the members from team Tianjin, Nankai, NPU-China and Jilin China. We introduced our projects and built up mutual facilitation with each others.
We assisted three iGEM teams of China by offering them plasmids and experimental materials.
For instance, we assisted team Tianjin with sending them the plasmid pYD1 and assisted them clone gene tvt & by overlap. In addition, we offered team SCAU not only the guidance of fundamental protocol of G.xylinus but the experimental materials such as strain G.xylinus cgmcc 2955, additionally, we help them do some pre-experiment like cultivating G.xylinus in soil.
We also help iGEM team Tianjin clone gene tvt& by overlap.
Creating safety education videos with ten iGEM teams
Irritating corrosive substances（i.e. Highly corrosive acid: sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid. Strong alkili: sodium hydroxide, aqueous ammonia)
When these types of substances accidentally drop on your skin, wipe out the substance first and flush the infected area with water.
The reason is that for example concentrated sulfuric acid reacts with water to emit a large quantity of heat and hence washing the affected area with water directly might lead to burning injury. Therefore, wiping out dry first and then flush with water.
Toxic chemical substances (Deadly substance via inhalation: mercury, cyanide, Khun compound, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide etc.)
If the devices containing mercury is broken, do not touch it without protection. All lab members should be evacuated and maintain the room with good ventilation.
Personnel dealing with mercury spills should wear a hat, mask, gloves; you can use a rigid paper roll, tin foil, tape, moist cotton swab to collect the mercury; place it in a sealed bottle; cover its surface with glycerine liquid. When the droplet is too little, cover these droplets with sulfur and convert them into mercuric sul-fide. Leave it with few hours and do the cleaning.
Biochemical reagents dye (such as agarose gel EB, dimethyl yellow)
Due to the toxicity of ethidium bromide, we should first purify the EB solution before the disposal after an experiment.
If the dye come into contact with skin accidentally, flush it with water.
Bio-factor (contagious pathogenic microorganism)
When there is a leak of contagious substances in a broken container, cover both the container and the substances with gauze or tissue immediately A.S.A.P. Pour antiseptic solution above.
The broken glass should be taken with tweezers and the contaminated area should be wiped with antiseptic solution.
The broken pieces should be sterilized with high pressure steam.
Broken pieces and used gauzes should be disposed in a specialized container.
The release of potentially detrimental aerosol
Lab should be evacuated immediately. Affected personnel should accept medical evaluation. EHS must be notified and will assume responsibility, in conjunction with the PI, to clear the laboratory for re- entry. Post spill sign on lab entry.
- ShanghaiTech University
- University of Chinese Academy of Science
- Tianjin University
- Tianjin University of Science & Technology
- University of Electronic Science and Technology of China
- Beijing Normal University
- Wuhan University
- Huazhong Agricultural University
- Anhui University of Technology
- Nanjing Agricultural University
- Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University
Experiences in creating a team from team TUST_China leader
- Persuade members to join the team
iGEM is a competition that is all about teamwork. It cannot be done just by a few people and in order to do that, you need to find a bunch of friends who are willing to follow you and do the work. Now is the time to show how persuasive you can be. Persuade all sorts of talented people. You can get some help here such as get your teacher to spread the words, get your iGEM friends in top universities to give a speech. It is mutual beneficial because other iGEM team need this as parts of requirements to get a gold medal. With all this help, you can picture an oasis on a waste land and promise to get them there. Of course, while you trying to get them on board, you need to be a gate keeper. Don't miss any talents and makes sure those that will be staying is contributing.
Tips: Don't overlook the introverts, they won't advertise how much they have contributed.
- Persuade your professors
After you have assembled your team, you have to persuade a professor (ideally with abundant fund and a good heart). Keep telling him the same story and get him on board. With the resources of a professor, you can ask for a spot in his lab to conduct your experiments or borrow equipment. Or even, the professor will help you to settle down on a research topic and if that happen, you are lucky! If that doesn't happen, don't worry! You are also lucky because you can chase your own interests now! If you think about why iGEM wants undergraduate students to be involved majorly rather than postgraduate or Ph.D. That is because college student has the advantage of boldness and imagination. Only in this case can the team come up with a novel idea. Innovation is the key!
- Persuade the University
The reason why iGEM is having survival issue in many universities is that it is literally a jamboree of the rich, a competition that burns money, with registration fee+ entrance fee more than 100,000 yuan. In this case, places like International communication center, teacher’s affair office or office of your college is your best shot to raise funds. If you can get your professor to help, you will be much more persuasive than on your own. That is the exact reason why you want a nice professor. The biggest cost comes from the funds the experiment needs. If your professor is willing to offer his own lab's funds, things will be easier. If that is still not sufficient enough, you might need to talk to more faculty members or started applying some projects that provide funds.
Tips: the funds from cooperation is also a good alternative
- Training and project initiation(This is serious)
A good project is fundamental for everything. (I am not suggesting our project is the best actually I deem it not good enough). It helps your persuasion with the university, the professors and supports the sustainable development of iGEM in your university. You need to show your potential of winning the awards and makes your project looks like a good investment to the school's faculty. Even with the fact that there aren't many universi-ties opening courses of synthetic biology, you shouldn't be discouraged and former years' wiki is a good start. Gradually, you will find yourself capable of reading paper which is the basis of brainstorming. Communication is the key and you need to trust your team. When encountered with problems, stop hesitating to ask. Here I recommend a qq group created by Zhang Haoqian---iGEM China&Syn Bio. It is a great platform with many friendly pro-fessors or experienced researchers willing to answer academic question.
Tips Read a book called "molecular biology lab work handbook" before you start your lab work. Don't ask me why, just read it.
- Prepare for the competition
Experiments don't work all the time, that is not a problem if you can find out the rea-sons. The real problem is irresponsibility. Anyone who doesn't do clean up after experi-ments, writes a lousy lab logs, or commit any actions endangering the safety of the lab shouldn't be allowed to conduct experiments further.
The principle is don't make troubles and let other people to pay the price.
iGEM is not an easy job. A strong team with tight relationship is essential.As the founder you need to set an example and motivate your teammates in any way you can like your passion, your charisma and your determination. Proper incentive and resting is also im-portant.
- Interaction with teammates
Each teammates has their own impression or comment to you but you should stick on your original feeling about yourself.
As a leader, you need to understand each individual's uniqueness, learn how to get along well with them and deal with all sorts of stuff. Delegate properly and make sure eve-ryone's is working in their forte.
The competition is still continuing and many things I have yet experienced. This piece of article is limited by my own experience. If it helps you in any way, I will be excited and honored. Love and peace~