Team:IIT Delhi/SynTech

This year, iGEM IIT Delhi went a step further in its quest to promote collaboration among the diverse enthusiasts of synthetic biology and to spread awareness about the emerging field of biological engineering and genetics.

  • We participated in iBEC, a competition organised by the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, and emerged as the winners with a reward of 10 lakh rupees. The foundation for this mini-iGEM competition was laid by iGEM IIT Delhi.
  • We underwent collaboration with iGEM IIT Kharagpur on their project. The 2016 kit plates had not yet arrived and they needed certain parts which were available with us in previous year’s kit plates. We sent them these parts so that they could begin working on their project. This proved to be a crucial headstart for them and they have attributed us for the same on their Wikipedia Page.
  • We also collaborated with iGEM Glasgow on their project wherein they needed reports and findings on deficiency of Vitamin A. A survey ( on Vitamin A intake was conducted and publicised through social media platforms, messengers and circulars. This survey was conducted on a very large scale and invited responses from over 700 Indians. Their responses were evaluated and analysed and we reached the conclusion that Indian people mainly suffer from deficiency of Vitamin A due to insufficient consumption of carrots, fish and meat. After the survey, we came up with a message on IITD On Air describing the benefits of Vitamin A. All the findings and our analysis was reported to iGEM Glasgow and we hope it helped them in their project.
  • A PhD student, Mr. Mahendra Sahare, doing a humanities project under a Supreme Court lawyer, Dr. Naveen Thayyil, has been in collaboration with iGEM IIT Delhi for the past two years. Together, we have worked on the aspect of ‘Ethical Scientific Practices’. Also, on his recent visit to IISER Mohali, he came back with a collaborative offer for iGEM IIT Delhi to mentor IISER Mohali and help in the establishment of iGEM club there. On our return from the Giant Jamboree, we have a presentation scheduled there. Below is the screenshot of the e-mail showing the confirmation of the visit.
  • Loreal India also approached us for expert consultation regarding drug synthesis (production of opiods).
  • Our last year’s project, which involved a meeting with the Delhi Govt., has been turned into a full-fledged collaboration and startup. Its components and prototype were patented as well.
  • We organised a Skype video conference between the iGEM teams of IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, IISc Bangalore and ourselves. This pan-Indian iGEM meet involved 15-20 minutes presentation by all the teams. This was followed by a Q&A session which proved to be extremely fruitful for all the participating teams.
  • iGEM IIT Delhi conducted seminars and workshops on synthetic biology in IIT Delhi and various schools of South Delhi. These workshops were aimed at informally introducing the students to this field. ‘Just like you join together Lego blocks to create structures, you can join together genes to create new biological systems’ was the main theme behind most of our workshops as they were meant for people with very limited knowledge of this upcoming field.
  • We also presented our past and current projects at the various festivals of IIT Delhi such as Tryst. Tryst, IITD’s technical fest, is one of the largest and most successful technical festivals across India. It seeks to bring together the world’s leading scientific minds and budding enthusiasts and witnesses an annual footfall of over 40,000. Our team also gave a presentation at Open House, which is IIT Delhi’s annual research presentation and lab demonstration event featuring presentations from all the academic departments of IIT Delhi. Moreover, we ensured proper exposure of first year students to synthetic biology and its multi-disciplinary aspects by setting up a stall at the Tour of Stalls, IIT Delhi’s annual club orientation, which has an annual footfall of nearly 1000 students.
  • Apart from these, we have been conducting lab workshops to teach interested students basic lab work and techniques. We started by teaching them plating and pipetting followed by plasmid isolation .We gave them an overview of our project and its potential applications. The images of our microscopy experiment were shown to the students to introduce them to the beauty of synthetic biology.