iGEM Aachen Collaborations


Hosting the SynBio Gone Viral Meetup with KU Leuven and GO Paris Saclay

Right in the beginning of April we received an E-mail from the iGEM Team KU Leuven with the question if we would like to collaborate with them. The goal was to set up a conference about synthetic biology that is open to not also iGEMers but also the public. It should contain a series of keynote speeches, workshops and the chance for iGEM teams to present their projects in front of a live audience.
After the first contact we scheduled a skype meeting to get to know each other a little bit. We introduced ourselves, talked about our projects and what we think of what this collaboration would be like. Team Leuven also mentioned they’ve asked other teams to collaborate with us - later it turned out it was the team from GO Paris-Saclay!
Following that, we set up workspaces to further improve the collaborational work and to brainstorm some ideas. Also a weekly skype meeting between the three teams was scheduled to talk about the whole project. As the event should take place in Leuven, Belgium, the local team was planning things like the location, food etc. Our team and the Paris team was asked to search for and bring in a speaker or a workshop referent and to fund his travel to Leuven. Besides that, ideas for organisation, goodie bags or sponsors were shared.
Week after week in the skype meetings the organisation got more precise. In the end, the time for the conference had come – SynBio Gone Viral was held from 20th to 22th September in Leuven. Benny and Alina from our team travelled to Leuven on thursday to be able to help set up everything friday in the morning, so that everything was ready when the participants arrived.

Fig. 1 The banner from SynBio Gone Viral.

Fig. 2 The SynBio Gone Viral program.

Team Aachen contributed in getting the keynote speaker, Dr. Tom Robinson, as well as in getting lanyards and pens from Promega for the name tags and the goodie bags. We furthermore helped in sharing the info about the conference via social media and wrote invitations to all german teams. Finally we were involved before and during the conference in setting up the registration booth as well as in having a look at the technical setup during the talks. Team GO Paris-Saclay held a workshop (how to produce a short animated cartoon video to present an iGEM project) and was involved in the (web)design, together with KU Leuven. The latter organized everything that was needed local, like the location and food and they also brought in most of the speakers and held a workshop about Sustainable Entrepreneurship. All in all, the conference was a whole success and not only did we help in organising a conference for iGEMers, we also made really good contact throughout the teams.
You can still find the website here.

Fig. 3 Alina from Aachen (left) and Amber from KU Leuven (right) while preparing the goodie bags and the registration booth.

Fig. 4 Group photo of the participants of our conference.

Postcard Collaboration with Team Düsseldorf

Around April we got an Email from the iGEM Team Düsseldorf saying they want to do the postcard challenge and if we want to be part of it. Each team has to design a postcard relevant to synthetic biology or their project and send as many as teams are participating to Düsseldorf. Of course we did not hesitate to join this collaboration since this sounded very cool. We designed our postcard, sent it on its way and then waited for the other postcards to arrive. And here they are! Look how pretty they all are!

Fig. 5 The postcard designed by our team.

Fig. 6 A small selection of the postcards we received back.

Mentoring King's College London iGEM Team

In May we developed a way to simplify the default iGEM page layout, to allow for more customisation, at the cost of requiring a complete website, without the predefined structure the default page offers. iGEM team KCL later wanted to do the same thing, to get rid of the default page, but they noticed we had already worked out a way to do it, so they asked us how we did it. We then offered to explain them our method and send them our code, to which they agreed, so we had a Skype conference on 19.09.2019 and then send a template of our method.

Fig. 7 Photo of the skype call from KCL UK and Julian from our team.

Participation in the iGEMxSDGs challenge with Team Costa Rica, Team Tübingen and Team TAS Taipei

We participated in the Instagram IGEMxSDGs Challenge. You can see our post from 27.06.2019 here:
We chose the following goals that we are addressing with our project:
No. 6 - clean water and sanitation: We are developing the Plastractor, with whom we want to extract micro plastic particles from water. That will provide clean water for everyone.
No. 14 - life below water:
We not only want to purify our drinking water from plastic. The plastic waste in lakes and the sea is also a major problem. By providing a device to get microplastic free water, we are helping the environment too.
No. 17 - Partnerships for the goals:
For accomplishing not only our goal but also every other goal you are trying to reach, we need to partner up. Let’s share our knowledge, resources and motivation so that we all can make the world a better place!
No. 3 - good health and well-being:
Without clean drinking water and a healthy sea flora and fauna this goal cannot be reached. As also been stated above we want to provide a device to help reach that goal.

Fig. 8 Our Sustainable Development Goals.

iGEM worldmap collaboration with Team Hamburg

We participated in the iGEM worldmap collaboration with Team Hamburg and contributed to a world map consisting of easy to understand iGEM abstracts so that the public can take part in the fascinating projects of different iGEM teams.

Taking part in the Golden Gate Webinar by Team Marburg

We were participating in the Golden Gate Webinar held by Team Marburg and received many useful and interesting tips and tricks for using golden gate cloning. Thank you for doing this!

Fig. 9 Logo of Marburg’s Golden Gate Webinar 2019.


Team Kopenhagen reached out to the women from our team to fill out their survey. They wanted to get information from us regarding their willingness to try out chewing gum that contains genetically modified yeast. In return they helped us gain more impact on how consumers behave when shopping for products that might contain microplastics, like cosmetics, by filling our survey.
Besides Kopenhagen also Team Darmstadt filled out our survey.