iGEM teams participating in BioHackathon

Our team organized an international programming contest of life sciences – "BioHackathon'19: Lab App". This event was an excellent way to engage and collaborate with life sciences and IT specialists to find answers and solve complex issues related to biology discipline. We believe this type of collaboration is a great way to exchange experience with other iGEM teams. Also, it is a unique chance for iGEM teams to develop their programs or tools during the event with the support of professional mentors. Basing our idea on this rationale, we invited iGEM teams to participate in the "BioHackathon'19: Lab App" event.

Three teams accepted our invitation to participate in the hackathon – we welcomed an iGEM team Stockholm from Sweden, iGEM team Marburg from Germany, and team Copenhagen from Denmark. A complex three-day event of the BioHackathon took place in the Vilnius University Life Sciences Center. Before the opening ceremony of the event, iGEM teams had a moment to visit our daily workspace – Life Sciences Center laboratories.

During the hackathon, teams had a chance to present their ideas and get support from the life sciences, IT professionals, project management specialists, and entrepreneurs. Some teams have been in touch with mentors even after the event and received their advice. To find the answer in solving compound issues is the main idea what the team needs to do during the 48-hours of coding. We are happy that iGEM teams had improved their projects or facilitated the realization of primary insights.

After the BioHackathon, we had an iGEM teams meeting. We used this meeting as a chance to share and discuss our iGEM projects. We shared the experience of our team formation and reflected on the importance of every team member's expectations towards the project outcome; the teams also shared experience in fundraising and laboratory work processes. We designed BioHackathon as a great collaboration opportunity to learn about other iGEM projects, exchange knowledge, and experience.

iGEM team Stockholm

iGEM team Copenhagen

iGEM team Marburg

Exchanging self-designed postcards

It is a tradition of the Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM team to participate in iGEM team Dusseldorf collaboration to exchange self-designed postcards between iGEM teams. We first sent 60 postcards to Dusseldorf. The design of the postcard included the image on the front and a short description of our project idea on the back. We designed a parallel world of our Colight system bacteria, which is controlled by the light, coming back home from a long year of work in the laboratory. Similarly to all the iGEMers, that got lots of new knowledge and became a little bit crazed; no one is coming back the same as they used to be. After each postcard from the different teams had reached Dusseldorf, they were mixed and sent back to us. The outcome of this collaboration opportunity is aesthetic as well as informative – now we have the postcards from all the teams that participated in this postcard sending activity in our daily workspace at Life Sciences Center. Our guests and community are always interested in knowing what other iGEMers are up to this year. It is a great way to engage somebody in getting to know more about synthetic biology.

Photos of our postcard

Educative comics

iGEM team Wrocław invited our team to take part in a truly creative collaboration activity. The participating teams had to create an educative comic that was aimed at raising awareness about the pollution problem that Wrocław and many other cities are facing. We had to take three photos of our team in scenes related to the comic topic – issues related to the high concentration of heavy metals in the air – and send it to the iGEM Wrocław team. This collaboration helped us share iGEM values related to ethical synthetic biology use across the globe.

Photos of our comics