Team:CCU Taiwan/Collaborations

Ruperto_Carola iGEM team

While developing ASFAST, we found that the Ruperto_Carola iGEM team is also working on African swine fever virus. Both Taiwan and Germany are surrounded by epidemic regions, posing a high-risk situation of being infected by ASFV. Presumably residents in both countries are highly aware of this issue. Thus, we designed a questionnaire to look into the awareness of our own community towards ASFV. Then, we shared the results with each other to develop a differential business model for our own products by knowing the difference in understanding of ASFV between communities in Taiwan and Germany.

“Laos is now the sixth Asian country to have been plagued by the disease, following China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia and North Korea.” --- 2019/06/21 Taiwan News
“The Philippines has suspended meat imports from Germany after it was found to contain pork bones from Poland, which has an outbreak of ASF.” --- 2019/07/17 Farm Journal's PORK
In the survey, we found out that Taiwanese were more aware of ASF while German was less. Perhaps it was because the information about ASF from news reports was quite frequently and people were also afraid that it would affect their daily life in Taiwan. On the other hand, the news about ASF could be rarely seen in Germany because German seemed doesn’t afraid of it and it won’t become a topic.

Second, we found that more Taiwanese thought that eating pork infected with ASFV would affect their health. Relatively, fifty-fifty German thought that it would affect their health. In fact, people’s health wouldn’t be affected if they ate infected pork. Another fact showed more Taiwanese didn’t think high temperature could kill ASFV while more German thought it could. Actually, ASFV would be killed over 60 degrees Celsius. The other fact showed people from both countries thought ASF would be mostly transmitted by meat, and that’s right. According to CFSPH (The Center for Food Security and Public Health) mentioned, “The African swine fever virus is often introduced into a herd after the feeding of uncooked/ undercooked contaminated pork products which are ingested by a pig.”

Last but not least, we got some useful suggestions from people’s opinions. Such as, “Implement regular checks and restrict movement of wild boar”, “Fast and cheap tests”, “Biosecurity is the best way to prevent its spread in domestic pig farms”, etc.
When asked for ideas on how to prevent its spread we got an answer both iGEM teams could definitely agree with: “Fast and cheap tests” can not only help locally but improve the situation worldwide.

Link to Ruperto_Carola iGEM team →Ruperto_Carola iGEM

Figure 1. Discuss session with Ruperto_Carola iGEM team.


In November, we received a collaboration request from the UFRGS (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul) iGEM team. We exchanged reports about the legislation regarding use of genetic engineering in the environment in our own countries. By completing these works, we not only understood the legislation of genetic engineering in Brazil, but also had a better understanding of the related laws and limitation of genetic engineering in our own country.

Link to UFRGS Brazil iGEM team → UFRGS_Brazil

Bilkent UNAMBG iGEM team

In mid-July, we were invited to collaborate with the Bilkent iGEM team from Turkey. They illustrated a comic about synthetic biology for education purposes. We helped to translate their comic into a Chinese version. In exchange, we were allowed to integrate the comic into our own education plan, to provide better learning materials for our audiences.

2019 Taiwan iGEM Conference

Hosted by the NCHU (National Chung Hsing University) iGEM team, a total of 9 iGEM teams joined a meeting in Taichung, Taiwan. Among the participating teams, 8 of them were from Taiwan and we had a special guest from the United Arab Emirates. During the two-day conference, each team shared their project through presentation and poster. We had a chance to share our project and receive valuable advice from other teams and professors. Besides that, we also listened to other team’s sharing and made friends with them. This not only broadened our knowledge, but also gave us a chance to seek collaboration.

Figure 2. Attending iGEM Taiwan Conference.

CSMU iGEM team

In August, our team assisted CSMU (Chung Shan Medical University) iGEM team with designing and manufacturing their device. They first shared their idea and showed us a detailed drawing of the device. We analyzed the design and gave them some advice based on manufacturing difficulties and structural integrity. After confirming all the details, we produced 11 sets of the device made of PLA using 3D printers and delivered them in September. As a return, CSMU iGEM team has provided us substantial help on PCR. Since they were proficient in PCR techniques, we learned valuable knowledge and useful PCR protocols from them such as adding biotin on one strand of the dsDNA so that the dsDNA could be separated into ssDNA easily. We also shared our development progress with each other throughout the entire course and discussed many of the problems that we met. We appreciated all the helping hand they had given to solve our problems.

Figure 3. The device we manufactured for CSMU iGEM team.


The iGEM x SDGs challenge arose from a collaboration of three iGEM Teams of 2019: TAS_Taipei (Taiwan), Team Costa Rica and Team Tuebingen (Germany). With a contribution of each team in different parts of the iGEM x SDGs, they showed how a global collaboration could open doors to change and sustainable development.

We participated this challenge and picked up three targets of sustainable development, trying our best to achieve the goal. In the meantime we did the roll call to invite four other teams to participate in the challenge.

Survey collaboration with BIT

Collecting the survey with iGEMers from Beijing Institute of Technology about public’s understanding of synthetic biology. Developing and distributing two different questionnaires for the common purpose. We got the data from the mainland and Taiwan respectively. After comparing the data, we analyzed a way to promote synthetic biology efficiently in the future.

In the survey, there are 28 questionnaires collected in China and 82 samples in the mainland. After the comparison, people in Taiwan mainly know the relative terms of synthetic biology through the Internet media, reaching 50% of all. However, people in the mainland usually learn via the Internet and professional studies. In both Taiwan and China, 25% or more subjects have no access to get such kind of information, which means that there are still a high number of people having no conception about synthetic biology.

And most people agree that the pros outweigh the cons when referring to the application of synthetic biology. Especially in the mainland survey, almost 34% people have positive attitude toward this problem rather than thinking the disadvantages.

It is worth mentioning that Taiwan has a high connection with synthetic biological applications or products in our daily life, up to 64.2%. In contrast, more than three-quarters of the mainland have no experience with such applications or products in their lives. It implies that China's mainland is a great potential region to promote the knowledge of synthetic biology. We wish that more and more people will know or understand synthetic biology.