As new members of the iGEM community, we pursue collaborations actively with other teams nationwide. This year, we collaborated and interacted with 6 teams from the different areas of China. As a new team, we have received much generous help and practical advice on our project, as a competent unity, we responded to other collaboration invitation enthusiastically and tried our best to contribute to the iGEM community. Through these interactions and collaborations, we have not only improved our project but also gained valuable friendship.
We also participated in several meetups in different scales domestically, including Beijing iGEM Undergrads Meetup hosted by BIT-China and CCiC hosted by the Institute of Synthetic Biology CAS SIAT in Shenzhen.
Beijing iGEM Undergrads Meetup
As the capital of our country, Beijing harbors many top universities and creates a harmonious environment for academic communications. Peking University, Tsinghua University, Beijing Normal University, University of China Academy of Science, Beijing Institute of Technology and our university are all located closely in this city and thus have academic exchanges frequently. After some online communications, together we settled an iGEM Meetup for Beijing undergraduates and BIT as the host. The meetup aims to share the projects, experiences, and insights to make better teams and projects. On August 6th, Peking, Tsinghua-A, Tsinghua, BIT-China, BNU-China, UCAS-China, CAU_China and OUC-China from Shandong Province, we had a joyful moment in BIT campus. Each of us presented our project and the progress we had made, as well as the problems we encountered, which triggered the subsequent lively discussions. This meetup also provided a platform for further co-operation. CAU_China has benefited a lot from other teams' advice (especially the feedback from Peking), and based on their suggestions, we made the final cut of our project. We appreciate this meetup and teams participated!
See more about our meetup on BIT-China's wiki
The 6th Conference of China iGEMer Community
In the largest Chinese iGEM meetup - the CCiC (Conference of China iGEMer Community), we not only shared our project with other teams from other parts of China, but also learned much from other iGEMers' perspectives and feedback. Their suggestions helped us improve our project in diverse aspects such as experimental procedures and HP execution plans. We also found several collaborative partners through this conference.
CAU_China x UESTC-China
We have collaborated with team UESTC-China and helped each other mutually. Our project this year and their project of last year have similar sections since their project in 2018 was to degrade stalks and produce bio-butanol and hydrogen. We obtained the plasmid piGEM2018-Module001 as a gift from UESTC-China, which was constructed in last year's project and contains parts BBa_K118023 and BBa_K118022. We aimed to improve these parts by fusing the parts with our new part INP-N(BBa_K3279006) respectfully, not only to fulfill the criteria of part improvement but also to test our part. Besides, after knowing UESTC-China also intended to employ INP-NC in their project to improve parts, since learned that their fusion expression of INP-NC-GFP seemed to encounter some problem at first, we provided our part and related procedures, which helped them accomplish the goal.
See more about our collaboration on UESTC-China's wiki
Geographically close to Peking University, the collaboration between CAU and Peking never stops. Since they have always been a pioneer in this competition, early in this year, to learn more about synthetic biology and iGEM competition from Peking, CAU iGEMers audited their introductive lectures in PKU campus under the permission. Moreover, after the competition officially started, we had frequent communications with Peking due to our first time join this competition, from which we learned a lot about team management and part improvement issues. In the Meetup in Beijing Area, Peking's instructor Cheng Li also provided us with several useful suggestions on pathway construction, according to his guidance, we redesigned our project and made further improvements.
See more about our collaboration on Peking's wiki
CAU_China x UCAS-China
Since our project intends to introduce a novel way of producing natural ingredients as well as degrading agricultural wastes, it may raise public concerns about biosafety of our approaches and products. Thus, when heard about our project in Beijing iGEM Undergrad Meetup, UCAS-China, whose project includes biosafety designs, showed great interests to the stalks treatment we may employ. We had a deep conversation with UCAS-China after the meetup and they provided some advice on our cellulose degradation subsection. In addition, after accidentally learned that a high school team BHSF_ND is also focusing on the biosafety issues this year, our team leader Xueshan Yan introduced BHSF_ND and UCAS-China to each other, and in return, UCAS-China recommended OUC-China to us when heard that our team were studying about ice-nucleation protein, which was used by OUC-China last year.
See more about our collaboration on UCAS-China's wiki
CAU_China x UESTC-Software
During the CCiC, we communicated with the UESTC-Software team, which is mainly composed of students majoring in biomedical engineering and bioinformatics. They developed a database called BioMaster, which can make predictions based on iGEM Registry and using BLAST+ to match entries in other databases. Our team members in charge of wiki development and modeling tried the software system and provided our "user experience" as a reference for their iteration improvement. In addition, they taught us some advanced knowledge of web development, which is quite helpful to our wiki designing and played an important role in our follow-up work.
See more about our collaboration on UESTC-Software's wiki
CAU_China x Tongji_Software
After listening to our presentation on CCiC, Tongji_Software expressed their willingness to help us, as their project is a database of pathway design. They inputted our essential enzymes information involved in the astaxanthin synthesis pathway and retrieved information from the database, including intermediate products and isozymes, which provided reference and validation of our experiments.
See more about our collaboration on Tongji_Software's wiki
Our collaboration with HUBU-Wuhan started from the issue of DNA Distribution Kit, we were the only two teams who hadn`t receive kits until our team contacted the distribution agent GenScript in China area in the late August. Our team solved this glitch after negotiation with the agent and thus helped HUBU-WUHAN get their kit too. With further communication with HUBU-WUHAN during CCiC, we learned that their project is also dedicated to cellulose degradation pathway, and both of us confronted the problem that the enzyme activities are very low and even undetectable. So we proposed some schemes to help each other such as exchanging enzymes and assaying the activities under the other`s lab condition. We also exchanged experimental procedures to determine if it contributes to the problem.
See more about our collaboration on HUBU-WUHAN's wiki
CAU_China x Tianjin
We also joined a large-scale collaboration in response to the invitation from team Tianjin and together with the other seven teams, we made a short video for educating more people about the microcosmos – The World of Microbes, which has also become a part of our integrated human practice. Through the video we hope more people would find the miraculous power these tiny creatures present. The full video can be found here and we contributed the part which includes three microbial species used in our project: Rhodobacter sphaeroides, Rhodospirillum rubrum, and Pantoea agglomerans. Our video can be found here.
See more about our collaboration on Tianjin's wiki