On August 6, BIT-China 2019 was honored to host the iGEM Meetup in Beijing.

Beijing is not only the capital of China, but also the academic and cultural center. There are a large number of top iGEM teams in China. Novel ideas and cutting-edge projects are booming here! This meeting contributes to the collaboration and communication of the iGEM community.

We want to express our earnest thanks for the participation of these teams, Peking, Tsinghua-A, Tsinghua, OUC-China, CAU-China, BNU-China and UCAS-China. We look forward to seeing you again in Boston!

We learned a lot from the Meetup. From the instructor of the Peking University team, we learned that there were some problems in the design of the experiment, and the project was not smart enough. We conducted a survey on this and proposed the design of the negative feedback circuit. We also discussed the improvement suggestions based on his suggestions and determined the scheme of the control group. The fluorescence characterization was compared with the experimental group to improve our project.

In the future, we plan to produce lycopene to verify our work and discuss the relationship with the astaxanthin line of China Agricultural University to promote exchange in Beijing.

As iGEMers and SynBio researchers, we believe that Synthetic Biology is more than creating on our own. Indeed, it’s about sharing the resources, ideas, and brainchildren among teams of researchers. Therefore, we are more than glad to establish collaboration with other teams not just because we can benefit each other through exchanging parts but we would also exchange ideas and insights into one another’s project so that we grow together. Based on this belief, when our team learnt about NEON, the design of Tsinghua from last year, and excitingly found out that they created exactly what we needed to prevent leakage, we got in touch with their current team members immediately and sought for establishing further collaboration.

We first discussed the details of their last year’s project through texts, setting a meeting for both teams to have deeper communication. On Sep. 28th, 2019, the day of the meeting, we learnt all the information we needed for incorporating their parts (the plasmid called safety catch, primarily) into our system. Afterwards, we held a discussion based on the projects we were currently working on. Surprisingly, we found many difficulties that we faced in common such as how to assemble two fragments of DNA effectively. And to some extent, we both offered helpful advice on how to partially deal with the problems. Moreover, advisors of Tsinghua iGEM 2019 shared with us some of the point-mutations they experimented on, which was great help for efficaciously developing their parts in our system.

All in all, the collaboration is an enjoyable journey we share for we not only recognize the significance of what we both are working on while pointing out certain shortcomings that require further endeavors, but also genuinely feel that, as iGEMers, we are never alone as isolated islands but pieces of rich lands connected to each other by multiple bridges. It is vitally important, indeed, that we support one another, push forward, and gain whatever we gain as a whole.

Tsinghua-A is a strong team active in the field of dry experiment, while our team focuses on the wet experiment. The exchange and collaboration with Tsinghua-A have improved our understanding of synthetic biology greatly. In the cafe of Tsinghua University, we had a pleasant exchange of views on our respective projects. We gave them some guidance on wet guidance, which helped make up for some shortcomings in this field, while Tsinghua-A gave us many guidance on dry experiment, including guidance on mathematical modeling, website editing and visualization.

Quorum sensing (QS) system is the core gene circuit of our project, but we tried to construct it for a month without success. We suspect there were something wrong with the materials, but we didn't know what to do.

Fortunately, we collaborated with Peking to acquire the BBa_F2620 and BBa_K1499500 which have been accurately characterized and rigorously verified by Peking. The LuxI gene was regained by PCR using these plasmids as templates.

Finally, we succeeded in troubleshooting and constructed the QS genetic circuit. We can't express more thanks to team Peking for their generous help. But that's the gist of iGem - helping and supporting each other - isn't it?

In July 10th, cooperation between BIT-China and BIT kicked off. We exchanged our previous kit Plates in their lab for our subsequent experiments. We provided them with plasmid containing BBa_E0840 which they used to construct their plasmid. And they provided us with plasmid containing BBa_C0061 and BBa_C0062 .

In July 18th, they provided us with the E.coli strain containing BBa_F2620 and we used it to build our quorum sensing system which helped us finish our experiment plan faster.

In October 3rd and 7th, they shared us the right of using microplate reader twice and helped us measure and verify the experimental results of quorum sensing system and T7 orthogonal expression system. It's a precious opportunity to communicate with each other!

-Bernard Shaw said,If you have an apple and I have an apple, and we exchange apples, we both still only have one apple.

-But our leader said,If you have a kit plate and I have a kit plate and we exchange kit plates we each now have two kit plates.

Our team leader Yu Fanchen and BIT team member

Our teammate Yang Huanzhou was standing at the entrance to their lab