As well as 60 other teams, we tried to encapsulate our team’s spirit in a single illustration, and a little abstract in the form of a post card.
We took part in their contest by representing an aspect of synthbio linked to bees. We tried to embody their detection system using phages.
We explained our project and presented our team with this clever “six pics” format they challenged us to produce.
We chose to represent one of the three aspects iGEM Nantes proposed us : the relationship between humans and synthetic biology. We tried to emphasize the goodwill that advancing science takes as an individual, included in the painting’s name "Bienveillance" .
Team iGEM Western Ontario hosted a meetup of Eastern Canadian teams on July 20th, 2019. Our participation via Skype in this event allowed us to discuss our project with the iGEM teams from the following universities: University of Western Ontario, University of Toronto, University of Guelph, and Queen's University. Although most of our presentation was based on planning for the rest of the summer, it provided a great opportunity to see for the first time how all the work by the different committees started to come together. Finally, we could see that the other teams were interested in our project, and their feedback was helpful for future presentations.
Team iGEM Wroclaw organized this activity as part of the promotion of their project on using yeast to deal with heavy metals. Our role in the collaboration was to provide pictures of one of our team members, Jean-Michel, entering a building, running, and being scared. In turn, Team iGEM Wroclaw would edit the pictures and use them for their comic. The final product shows the comic's villains (heavy metals) affecting air quality and terrorizing our team member Jean-Michel, which speaks to the importance of dealing with these pollutants. The resulting comics are up on the Yairrowia facebook page.
In exchange for the distribution of their surveys on cigarettes, we received contact information of experts in different fields such as transportation and hospitals, which allowed us to get complementary data on what criteria we should consider upon building our device. It allowed us to compare what the standard would be in Canada and in France.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
On August 5th, 2019, Team iGEM MIT hosted the Northeastern meetup of teams in the Northeast of the United States, which we joined as the only Canadian team. We decided to build upon our experience from the oGEM meetup by sharing our project with teams from the following universities: MIT, Harvard, Stony Brook, Stanford, Brown, Princeton, and the University of Connecticut. Since this event included some judges from previous iGEM competitions, it provided an outstanding opportunity for us to get feedback on the strong and weak points of our presentation. In particular, comments focused a lot on the way we showed that we fulfilled the items required for the medals at the Jamboree. Finally, since we learned that the Stanford - Brown - Princeton iGEM Team was also working with microfluidics, our participation in this event allowed us to start a collaboration with them.
We established a multifaceted collaboration with Team iGEM Concordia. They organized a meetup for Canadian teams at their home institution on September 27th-28, 2019. This allowed us to have a preliminary version of our Jamboree presentation and poster. Just like at the Northeastern meetup, we received feedback from former iGEM judges and participants on our presentation. Afterward, we joined our modeling efforts as a way to complement both of our teams’ projects. They helped us by using Rosetta to produce an alternative 3D model for the structure of a toehold riboswitch. Their model was overall very similar to the one we produced with RNAComposer, with just some differences in the most flexible regions, which could be expected from the lack of base pairing in these regions as seen in our molecular dynamics simulations. Thus, having similar results with different methods improves our confidence in our modeling efforts. In turn, we contributed by modeling the diffusion of hydrocortisone in their chitosan gel both by means of equations and by simulations that show how changes in parameters affect diffusion.
On October 5th, Team iGEM Guelph organized another meetup for Canadian teams as a follow-up to the one organized by Team iGEM Western Ontario. We attended this meetup remotely and we had the chance to see the advances of the other iGEM teams we had first seen at the meeting organized by Team iGEM Western Ontario. This allowed us to see how, just like us, the other teams had faced obstacles but found ways to overcome them.