Team:EPFL/Medals Criteria

iGEM EPFL 2016

Medals Criteria

Bronze Medal

Register for iGEM, have a great summer, and attend the Giant Jamboree.

That’s exactly what we have done! This summer has taught us so much, not only on the laboratory techniques but also on how to work and get along as a team. We can’t wait to fly to Boston the 27th of October to present the fruits of our long hours of PCR-ing, cloning and coding.

Meet all deliverables on the Requirements page.

We were on time for all the deadlines imposed by iGEM, even for the Wiki Freeze! We created a poster and rehearsed a lot to give the best possible presentation in Boston. We also filled the safety and judging forms and sent our parts on schedule.

Create a page on your team wiki with clear attribution of each aspect of your project.

You can read all about who did what by clicking on this link. We would again like to thank everybody that contributed to every part of our project, all of this wouldn’t have been possible without their help!

Document at least one new standard BioBrick Part or Device central to your project and submit this part to the iGEM Registry.

We have submitted 9 new parts to the iGEM registry (BBa_K1941000 to BBa_K1941008) all of them playing an important role in our final achievements. We have documented most of those new BioBricks! Take a look at them by clicking link here.

Silver Medal

Experimentally validate that at least one new BioBrick Part or Device of your own design and construction works as expected.

Lots of our parts have displayed awesome results and worked as expected! For example, part BBa_K1941001 recruits Mxi1, binds to TEF1 promoter along with dCas9 and represses it. It has been shown through flow cytometry measurements. We also show that most of our new parts are efficient and act as we anticipated. Follow this link to learn more about our results.

You have helped any registered iGEM team from another university, or another institution in a significant way.

Collaboration has been a central point to our project. We developed a website (, bringing together in one place the descriptions of projects and interviews of more than 30 different iGEM teams (see also human practices; It helped people not only to get to know better the projects of various teams, but it also promoted collaboration between them. Indeed, by knowing what the other teams were working on, finding the perfect collaboration was made easier. We also suggest such a platform to be taken over by iGEM HQ itself and have it implemented in future iGEM years.

Moreover, we created a platform on our site for sharing surveys made by different teams and helped to spread them to the iGEM community. We also took part in different surveys to help other teams gather information of interest for their own project. We also took part in the newsletter that the XMU-China team created (read more here) by providing a description of our project and of our team. It was a great way to contribute even more on spreading iGEM to the world.

iGEM projects involve important questions beyond the lab bench, for example ethics, sustainability, social justice, safety, security, and intellectual property rights. Demonstrate how your team has identified, investigated, and addressed one or more of these issues in the context of your project.

We took all of these aspects very seriously during our project. More specifically, we interviewed Dr. Yolanda Schaerli, a young expert in the field of synthetic biology currently employed at University of Zurich. After discussing her current research, we delve into the ethical dilemmas facing synthetic biologists. Ranging to suspicion from the public to preventing bioterrorism, we tried to give you a sneak peek into this complex world where philosophy meets pragmatism. We wrote an article on our website about the interview and commented those critical points to share our experience with the world.

We also went to a High School in Geneva and met with 40 students. We presented iGEM, our project, and raised awareness about safety in the lab. We also warned them about the risks of irresponsible attitudes when dealing with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Not only did we talk about the risks of GMOs, we also educated the students about the advantages of using GMOs in various applications and asked them how they portray the future of GMO usage.

Improve the function OR characterization of an existing BioBrick Part or Device and enter this information in the Registry.

We did both! Firstly, we improved the characterization of pCYC yeast promoter, BBa_K124000, by providing information on activation and repression of this promoter when targeted with different scRNA.

Secondly, we improved the function of other BioBricks from the 2015 EPFL team, like BBa_K1723009 for example. This BioBrick is a repressing gRNA targeting the pCYC promoter. We added to it a so-called effector protein recruitment site that can recruit a transcriptional repressor, Mxi1, fused with an RNA binding module, and it became BBa_K1941003. This BioBrick can repress efficiently and reliably pCYC in yeasts.

Demonstrate a functional proof of concept of your project.

We constructed a galactose-inducible NOT gate, using GAL1 promoter (BBa_I766214), dCas9 (BBa_K1150000), CYC promoter (BBa_K124000) and two of our new BioBricks, the first one being a fusion between a RNA binding protein (PCP) and a repressor; Mxi1 (BBa_K1941000). The second one is a scRNA targeting CYC (BBa_K1941003) and represses it by recruiting Mxi1 fused to PCP. We obtained great results and could show that when galactose was not present, GFP was expressed. When galactose was present however, CYC was repressed and expression of GFP was decreased by manifold. You can click here to see the detailed results!