Ⅰ. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
Our cooperation with the team UCAS-China originated from the CCiC held in Shenzhen in August. We heard that the project they have been working on was also about microbial therapies. They have developed a cold-inducible genetic switch that can be used by our team to achieve bacterial suicide. In our subsequent experiments, we substituted sfGFP of their cold-inducible genetic switch with our lytic gene (Gene E) and the outcome was as expected. What’ s more, using the protocol provided by UCAS-China, we characterized their cold-inducible genetic switch by testing the escape frequency of their switch and shared with them which provide strong data support for the feasibility of their system.
Correspondingly, we provide the constructed plasmid containing the lytic gene for UCAS-China to help them kill the bacteria and enrich the mechanism of its suicide procedure. The characterization of our lytic gene also progressed smoothly. It is inspiring that the lytic gene works.
Ⅱ. Shanghai East Foreign Language School Affiliated to SISU
In September, we received an email from team SEFLS_Shanghai, and they wanted us to mentor their team in their follow-up work. After a period of keeping in touch online, we had a meet-up with them, giving them some suggestions and offering help. First, we specified the practical significance of their project, which should be focused on arousing people's awareness of shark protection rather than mass production. Second, we exchanged issues on human practice and advised them to expand the scope of interviewees and refine the content of interviews. Finally, we reached an agreement on cooperation in experiments and mathematical modeling. The experimental part includes helping them characterize the squalene they obtained in shake-flask by mass spectrum analysis using our gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. We have also given some suggestions for improving the efficiency of molecular cloning. And for mathematical modeling, our ShanghaiTech iGEM club members are willing to offer help on model simulation. From their recent feedback, it is delightful that our suggestions have effectively promoted the process of their projects.
About two weeks later, members of our iGEM club helped them complete the final modeling, and we met for the second time. In our communication, the SEFLS_Shanghai team found that our models did not fit perfectly with their experimental parts. They debugged our model to make it more in line with their experimental part.
The demo of our game has just been finished at that time, we invited the SEFLS team to play the demo. The SEFLS_Shanghai team praised our game for its excellent picture and rich content. To further deepen our collaboration, the SEFLS_Shanghai team proposed to add squalene to our game to design a level for their project. And they can promote their project ideas when helping us promote our games. In this way, we have achieved win-win cooperation.
Ⅲ. Wuhan University
Team WHU-China’s project focuses on the rehabilitation of cultural relics by bacteria. They hope to use a light control system to achieve the location-specific repair. Our pDawn light control system could meet their requirements. We sent them four plasmids including one original pDawn system and three improved pDawn systems constructed by ourselves. We also hope they can help us verify the effectiveness of our modification. Unfortunately, they faced a trivial question in realizing lighting and shading conditions, resulting in unsatisfactory experimental results. They have been looking for some improvements for the experiment and communicating with us about the progress of the experiment in time to troubleshoot this part together.
Ⅳ. Tianjin University
We received an invitation from Team Tianjin to co-produce a popular science animation. Since the popularization of science is also an important part of our project, we accepted the invitation with pleasure. We negotiated online to finalize the script, which tells the survival story of three kinds of sensory cells. We are responsible for the drawing, dubbing, and editing of the animation while Tianjin University completed the final integration with videos produced by other teams.
Click the link below to enjoy our animation:
Ⅴ. Fudan University
Meet-up with Team Fudan: Fudan gave us some advice on making good use of our resources and innovative opportunities to design the regulatory elements in our model, for example, they advised us to consider the feasibility of using oscillation curve to control signal input stability, which provided us a new way in mathematical modeling. They also suggested that nonopaque capsules can be a good way to wrap our modified bacteria, which also helped increase the probability of turning our project into reality.
After the visit, we swapped more targeted advice on bacteria design and polished each other’s projects.
Ⅵ. New York University Shanghai
In August, we attended iGEM Shanghai Regional Conference hosted by the NYUSH iGEM Team. With this precious opportunity, we improved collaboration, learned from each other and got helpful feedback.
During the conference, we shared our preliminary research about the feasibility of intestinal endocrine N-palmitoyl serinol in the treatment of type 2 diabetes with other iGEMers from 20 teams. We also shared the past experience of polishing the project about a high-fidelity control system allowing the outputs to respond precisely to the changing input signals and making an appropriate plan for the whole team.
After the conference, we kept in good touch with many other teams as well as followed some advice from other iGEMers and improved our project.
Ⅶ. The Stony Brook School
We collaborated with the 2019 iGEM high school team SBS_NY during the competition. Team SBS_NY’ s project focuses on driving the expression of the reporter genes and monitoring the concentration of several heavy metal cations. In China, many places are experiencing the issue of soil pollution by heavy metals, especially those cities that rely mainly on industrial production that could release a humongous amount of heavy metal pollutants into the soil. We hoped that more people in China can get to know their ideas and designed prototypes. So, we are willing to promote the promotion of their projects in China.
Our project addresses the issue of diabetes, by using an intestinal probiotic that can ultimately increase the insulin level in the body, which in turn can effectively cope with type II diabetes. Team SBS_NY happens to be a team from the United States, where type II diabetes is so common due to people’s everyday diets. It is helpful to bring our ideas to more people in the USA, and therefore let more people who have type II diabetes know more about what the team has been working on and its effectiveness in treating their diseases. Therefore, team SBS_NY brings our idea into, first, their school community, and then to a larger population if doable.