Being the first and the only iGEM team from Pakistan, we found the collaborative aspect of iGEM to be very effective. Many teams were willing to guide us through iGEM, and we shared the experiences and insights we had developed by being the country's first iGEMers. The truly international nature of iGEM made it possible to cross cultural and geographical borders, and made science an ambassador in international relations. Even though the constraints of time and experience made it somewhat difficult for us to offer acute technical help, we were extremely eager to help out in any way we possibly could.
User testing Team IIT Madras's Codonut App
IIT Madras built a mobile app Codonut to explain codon optimization in a fun and interactive way. In order to further improve this app, we tested it out ourselves and also shared it with our numerous followers on social media to get quality feedback for IIT Madras. Our feedback consisted of:
- Advice about the educational aspect of the game and how they could make it more explanatory about DNA, ribosomes and codon optimization.
- Feedback about some aspects of gameplay, that included instructions, color optimizations, reactions and more.
- Attention to a typo and some design elements.
We compiled all of our feedback into a report complete with relevant screenshots of the game. This was appreciated by IIT Madras as it helped them understand the end-user's experience. Given the political tension between our two countries, this was a very unique interaction that not only enabled us to bridge divides and share science across borders, but also laid the groundwork for long and lasting relationships for the future.
Support in surveying for Team NCTU Formosa
An iGEM team from National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan worked on farmer friendly project that tried to reduce the use of dangerous chemical pesticides. Realizing the importance of public awareness and to promote the acceptance of genetic engineering as an alternative tool, we disseminated their survey that explained the dangers chemical pesticides pose to the health and environment, and their project that provides an ecofriendly alternative.
Support in surveying for Team Tec Chihuahua
Our collaboration with Tec Chihuahua from Mexico involved human practice activities. We offered our social media platforms to get responses on the surveys they were conducting. The survey was targeted at general public and centered around the concerns and issues relating to Synthetic Biology as perceived by common people.
IIT Kharagpur India
Our collaboration with IIT Kharagpur included Skype sessions where we shared construct designs, exchanged thoughts about improving them and insights about effective human practices. We disseminated their survey which sought to understand the perception of Synthetic Biology among the general public of our region. Given the current political situation between our two countries, our skype sessions, discussions, and idea sharing not only enabled us to bridge divides and share science across borders, but also laid the groundwork for long and lasting relationships for the future. We even listened to the 'Aman ki Asha'(The want of Peace) song together!
Team XMU China
XMU China is a team from Xiamen University. We were fascinated by their project idea that dealt with antibiotic resistance. Since a lack of public awareness plays a key role in exacerbating this problem, we helped them gather data about public knowledge and experiences related to antibiotic use.