ChongQing Meet up
Purpose of collaboration: From idea to product
We always think that iGEM is not just a competition, but a sharing and cooperation. Synthetic biology can only be developed and promoted if participants share skills and experiences. In order to get more in-depth communication, not just via e-mail, we held a ChongQing Meet up in August this year. We have invited Dr. Zhang Haoqian, Ambassador Zhang Nan and seven teams, including CSU_China, UCAS_China, NUDT_China, OUC_China, SDU_China, OUC_China,SMMU_China. In keeping with the spirit of iGEM,this conference was “ From idea to product ”-themed, which aims to share the ideas from various teams and promote them to move toward engineered products.
Dr. Zhang Haoqian, co-founder & CTO of Bluepha Microorganism, shared his experiences. iGEM provided an opportunity for him to meet many like-minded friends, including his later entrepreneurial partners. He said that “Life sciences is no longer a qualitative, collaborative, and experimentally dependent discipline. It requires quantitative, visual tools, mathematical and physical analytical methods to enable life sciences to develop into a systematic, scalable, and quantifiable modern science.” He believes that synthetic biology is as hopeful as a rising sun, however, from a creative idea to an effective product is a challenging process.
To overcome such a challenge can't just rely on single-handedness, but cooperation between partners. It’s our pleasure to provide a stage to promote cooperation. The teams invited shared their projects in turn after the afternoon tea. The exchange of ideas between different teams was so wonderful. We are very glad that the purpose of our meeting has been reached.
Purpose of collaboration: Exchange of experience and knowledge
We are a naive iGEM team, and many concepts on synthetic biology and medal criteria are not specifically understood, such as genetic circuits, standardization, “safety form”, “check-in form” and so on. In order to get started quickly, we took the initiative to contact UCAS-China. The student leader, Dong Yun, warmly welcomed us to join iGEM, then shared their team's understanding of synthetic biology and the experiences of participating in iGEM. And in the follow-up research phase, our two teams have maintained close contact.
1.When we characterized parts for bronze medal, we encountered a problem: Did we have to experiment with the official protocol? The student leader, Dong, gave us effective suggestions after we consulted her.
2.We are not sure if antibiotics need to be “checked-in” when we use them to screen bacteria. Then we contacted the team's advisor, Gao Yuanli, who suggested using Ampicillin, Chloromycetin and Kanamycin, he said that it is better to submit the corresponding "check-in"
3.Their project focuses on the use of microbial therapy to treat metabolic diseases. Fortunately, it is exactly our profession. So, when they need expertise in medicine, we help them as much as possible. As we expected, all iGEM teams are not opponents, but partners.
Purpose of collaboration: Intimate partner & mentor
SMMU has been in close contact with our university because we have the same history and research direction. So, we were extremely excited when we learned that SMMU-China has participated in iGEM. We have been in contact on the Internet and had deeper exchanges across the stage of Chongqing Meet up and Shenzhen CCiC. Their project focuses on a novel Engineered Theranostics, which is similar to our eukaryotic one. In addition, as the result of our twin-like background on medicine, we often get useful suggestions on human practices designing from experts of SMMU-China.