Team:GO Paris-Saclay/Collaboration/Haiku



Synthetic poems created by iGEMers

Our project “DNA-free POETential” consisted in creating and functionalizing DNA-less cells. Our results open interesting avenues in developing new kinds of synthetic organisms devoid of DNA. These possibilities, both exciting and unsettling in a world where DNA is a synonym for identity, were the object of an artistic exchange with scientists and non-scientists, under the form of Japanese-style poems called Haikus.

Haikus are Japanese poems composed of only 3 sentences of 5 / 7 / 5 syllables, respectively. They classically reflect the fleeting beauty of Life, expressing ephemeral but strong feelings. Since the chassis of our project is a DNA-less cell with a shortened life span, we decided to produce haikus to illustrate our experiments.

For this artistic exchange, we invited iGEMers to write haikus (in all languages) about the fate of a DNA-less cell, or any idea related to synthetic biology. Here’s the link for more information and also for sending your incredible haikus to us: Click Here

Several iGEM teams felt inspired and created the following Haikus after discovering our project. We are grateful for their creativity. Don’t hesitate to also check their projects out!

Team Marburg

"UTEX 4 da win
der wächst so schnell wie Hefe
beschte wo gibt lan

Our beloved UTEX
Growing faster and faster
Than all the others

What is life for us?
Is it just the DNA?
Or also the shell?"


● Team Vienna, Michaela ●

"The synthetic cell
Risen from fantasy, forged
Into existence

Gone, my DNA
So when my shift is over
I am no longer"


● Team iGEM Thessaly ●

"Never thought that I
with this ''empty'' space inside
could transform any life.. "

"Math never lies
Suggests i keep evolving
As the time flies"

"Κοίτα μέσα μου
Όλο κάτι μου λείπει
Δώσε μου ζωή "

● Team CPU CHINA ●

"Hold on to my code
Upload , Backed up and Decode
Complexity to behold"


● Team Evry Paris Saclay ●

"Un jour la brise
Le second s’éclaire car…
La lune se réveille"


● Leiden team ●

"Er is niks over,
Ik vertrek om de schaduw achter mij te laten
Ben onder de indruk van de verschuiving"

"Geen DNA geen probleem,
syntetisch leven, ben je echt?
je bent wat je creert"

● Pasteur Paris team ●

"Little RNA,
Barely born you disapper…
As snow in the sun"


Synthetic poems created other people


Our project was presented during a poster session at the annual Colloquium of the French network that was held in Grenoble (France) on 8-9 November 2019.

Pierre Legrand (Synchrotron Soleil, Fr)

"Lonely cells are
Abandonned genes that glare
In dishes billions stars"

Stefanie Barbirz (Potsdam University, Gr)

"Phage- Protein umhüllt
Bakterie - so unerfüllt
Leben wir gemeinsam?"

Stefanie Barbirz

"Oh Phage- I'm without life!
Offer me the treasures
Hidden in your protein shell"

Lorenzo Carré (Institut de Biologie Structurale, Fr)

"Memory is lost
Ribocell's not a ghost
Just a Great Old One"

Anonymous, Poem in French:

"Petite bactérie
La nucléase t'a bouffée
C'est tant pis pour toi"

Anonymous, Poem in French:

"Une vie sans génome
On croit que c'est difficile
Mais ce n'en est rien!"


"Without a genome
You just have RNA phage,
It sucks to be you ;)"


"No DNA Tic tac toe
Only RNA instead of the foe.
Restart life, let's go!"


● Thanks to all of you for contributing to our project ●

Discover all our original haikus on the philosophical iGAME page!



2019 GO Paris Saclay Team

We are proud to present our project to all our IGEM friends :)