Xylencer is focused on using genetically engineered bacteriophages to optimize phage therapy against Xylella fastidiosa. iGEM Eindhoven is the other Dutch team that choose to work with phages. They are working on a bacteriophage-based system to detect specific (pathogenic) bacterial strains. Detection takes place by a bioluminescent signal after detection of a specific region of the phage DNA. As we are the two Dutch teams that work with phages, we immediately started discussing our projects.
During the whole iGEM experience, we discussed our projects both at meetups and in emails. The first thing we discussed was the possibility to work with bacteriophages in our respective labs. We both had trouble with this, as the chances of contamination are large. In Wageningen we could solve this by working in an ML-2 lab. Sadly, this was not possible for TU Eindhoven, as they did not have access to such a lab. They found a solution by performing all their phage work at the QAMH in Brussels. They offered to ask questions regarding phages in plants on our behalf.
The Voice of iGEM
Challenges are a great way to interact with and get to know other teams. We have really loved all of the chalenges other teams have come up with! Click to read more.
We joined iGEM Duesseldorf in their yearly postcard exchange, in which teams from all over the world design a postcard, describing their project. IGEM Duesseldorf then distributes the postcards among all the participating teams.
We designed a postcard explaining our project, which we also distributed on campus and gave to children at the Dutch Weekend of Science. In this way, people could learn more about our project in a low-key manner.
We were delighted to receive the postcards from the participating teams and to learn more about their projects.
To improve knowledge on synthetic biology and to get to know other teams, we participated in the Instagram challenge by iGEM Stony Brook. During this challenge, each team uploaded a picture on Instagram every day. This led to some of our most liked pictures on Instagram up to today.
Language Project 2.0
IGEM IIT Madras made a Youtube series explaining synthetic biology. To make sure that synthetic biology is accessible to everyone we translated their video: ‘introduction into synthetic biology’ in Dutch. In this way, there will be no language barrier for Dutch kids trying to learn about synthetic biology.
Introduction into synthetic biology.
We were nominated by iGEM Eindhoven to particpate in the iGEMxSDGs challenge. This challenge is a collaboration of three teams: iGEM Tas_Taipei, Costa Rica and Tuebingen. This challenge aims to promote the sustainable development goals amongst the iGEM teams.
Our project focusses on multiple sustainable development goals. We want to aid with zero hunger (2) by protecting crops from Xylella fastidiosa. We want to promote decent work and economic growth (8) by protecting farmers from this disease and thereby securing their income. We want to promote sustainably managed forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss (15) by curing diseased trees and limiting insecticide use. Lastly, by collaborating with stakeholders from all over the world, we hope to revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development (17).
We want to thank the organizing teams for encouraging us to think how our project helps with achieving the sustainable development goals.
Mike the Microbe
Every year, iGEM US AFRL Carroll HS sends their mascots, Mike the Microbe and Chia the Chitinase around the world as a Flat Stanley project. This year, they visited our lab for a day and helped us with our lab work.
1 Minute Video Challenge
We participated in the 1 minute video challenge from iGEM Technion. We were challenged by iGEM Estonia to join this challenge and make our project understandable in only 1 minute. Combining some extra footage with footage already shot for our crowdfunding campaign, we were able to make this 1 minute explanation of our project. This made us extra aware of our project’s key points. We are looking forward to seeing the results from other teams.
Xylencer explained in one minute.
Meetups are a great opportunity to get inspired by the marvellous ideas of other teams. They are a nice way to expand your knowledge on synthetic biology and as a bonus, you will also have a good time while doing so! Click to read more.
iGEM Spring Festival Bonn
In May we attended the meetup by iGEM Bonn. This gave us an early peek into what other teams dreamt of accomplishing and how they wanted to leverage synthetic biology in doing so. It also gave a platform to discuss the first draft of our project with other iGEM members.
"In Paris" Meetup
In July we attended the meetup organized by four Parisian iGEM teams: iGEM GO-Paris Saclay, Evry Paris-Saclay, Pasteur and Ionis. This was a great excuse to visit the lovely city of Paris and meet new and already familiar faces. Here we presented our project in front of multiple judges, receiving the second place.
The Dutch Meetup
In August we attended the Dutch meetup organized by iGEM Leiden and Groningen. Here we presented our project in front of judges and collaborated with other members from other teams to solve challenges. We also had some good fun participating in the crazy 88.
BeNeLux Mini Jamboree
On the 25th of October, we will be attending the BeNeLux Mini Jamboree, organized by iGEM TU Eindhoven. Here, we will be presenting our project in front of a jury and we will show our poster. The Mini Jamboree will be one of the last practice sessions before the Giant Jamboree.
Surveys help iGEM teams get reliable feedback from a broad audience. Click to read more.
We were very happy to support iGEM teams by filling in their surveys. We filled in surveys from iGEM Duesseldorf, iGEM Tuebingen, iGEM MIT ADT BIO Pune, iGEM Saint Joseph, iGEM Evry Paris-Saclay, iGEM UC Davis, iGEM Copenhagen , the joint survey of iGEM Oxford, iGEM Leiden and iGEM Copenhagen and the joint survey of iGEM Manchester and iGEM Edinburgh OG.
DUTCH INSTITUTES arrow_downward
Collaborations have not been limited to other iGEM teams. Several dutch institutes have also organised iGEM related collaboration events. These have mainly foccussed on conducting your project in a safe and responsible manner. Click to read more.
RIVM — Safe by Design
The RIVM is the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. They follow the latest developments in the field of synthetic biology and advise the government on this. All Dutch iGEM teams can collaborate with the RIVM in a ‘Safe-by-Design' competition. We made a technical infographic , in which we show the design choices we made and how safety influenced these decisions. You can see more on this project at our Safety page.
The Rathenau Institiute
The Rathenau institute is an organization aiming to pinpoint and solve today’s questions on science, technology and society. It has an active role in informing politicians and society on these problems. Part of their portfolio is synthetic biology. The Rathenau institute organized a meetup on safety for all European iGEM teams. For more information see the human practices page.
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