This year, SZU-China has in-depth collaboration with three university teams: FAFU-CHINA, SUSTech_Shenzhen, SYSU-CHINA and two high school teams: BGIC_China and SMS_Shenzhen. The communication and cooperation with each team is shown as followings.
Our team began collaboration on June 17th, 2016 at SynBioBeta Activate, an international conference held in Shenzhen. Famous synthetic biologists all over the world gathered at the conference to share their latest discoveries in particular focuses. Some other iGEM teams from southern China also attended the conference. There, we encountered and communicated with the members of FAFU-CHINA, SUSTech_Shenzhen, SYSU-CHINA and XMU-China. After the conference, the members of the five teams had a professional and academic communication in Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech). As the discussion went really well, we decided to have further and deeper cooperation with each other in the future.
On the second day, June 18th, 2016, we SZU-China invited members from FAFU-CHINA，SYSU-CHINA and XMU-China to Shenzhen University to deepen our collaboration. During the conference, each of the four teams presented their projects and raised questions on others’ projects to identify the problems. At the end of the conference, we agreed to offer help as possible as we could if any of the four teams encountered difficulties. It will be a promising, continuous collaboration among us.
See what we've done in total !
Collaboration with FAFU-CHINA
We collaborated with FAFU-CHINA team mainly in experiments. Initially, both of our teams used Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as subjects. In terms of both of our technology, the labs of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University have more mature methods in using Electroporation and gene gun bombardment to transform Algal chloroplast , whereas professors from College of Life Sciences and Oceanography Shenzhen University have improved glass-bead method（Expression and molecular analysis of phbB gene in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Chinese Science Bulletin 2004 Vol.49 No.16 1713-1717）. With our complementary technologies as basis, FAFU-CHINA hoped to transform different locus of algae cells using various transformation technologies to improve their results. Therefore, FAFU-CHINA sent their vectors to us so that we could transform using glass-bead method, whereas we shared our Chlamydomonas reinhardtii strains with FAFU-CHINA.
At the same time, we encountered some problems in construction of biobricks. Our antibiotics were always ineffective when we did plasmid amplification on psb1c3 and some other experiments, so the monoclonal bacteria cannot be transformed successfully. At the same time, we did not have enough psb1c3 plasmid for the coming experiments. Fortunately, FAFU-CHINA helped us in time, providing us with psb1c3 plasmid and chloromycetin. They also helped us find out the reasons of our failure. After repeated verification testing using enough experimental materials, we finally solved the problem and continued our experiment.
Collaboration with SUSTech Shenzhen
We focused mainly on the exchange of experimental materials in the collaboration with SUSTech Shenzhen. SUSTech Shenzhen encountered some problems when they did Interlab experiments, so they could not obtain a result in a short time. Their reagents were also consumed. We decided to provide them with our reagents and helped them with continuous experiments.
When our antibiotics were ineffective in doing biobrick, SUSTech Shenzhen gave us their amplified psb1c3 plasmids and chloromycetin which they were currently using. With enough materials, we did many testings, discussed possible problems and verified them one by one. Eventually we found out that our lab’s environment caused the lost of chloromycetin’s screening effect, then we solved the problem and continued to do successive experiments.
Collaboration with team SYSU-CHINA
We collaborated with team SYSU-CHINA by mutual communicating and suggesting. Fully taking the chance of four-school communication meeting and CCIC Summit Meeting, team SYSU-CHINA and we had deeper communication than other teams. Debugging for each other, we found out problems of the presentation and figured out the solutions together. While making the judging form website, we also shared experience. Thanks to the help from the team leader of team SYSU-CHINA, we successfully finished our judging form.
Collaboration with team BGIC_China
Team BGIC_China is one of the high school iGEM team in Shenzhen. Their project of this year required them to condense and desiccate their biological samples on filter papers, which they lacked in laboratory. Thus, we helped team BGIC_China by lending out our lyophilizer to them. They came to our laboratory to operate the last step of their experiments before lyophilizing and used our lyophilizer to condense and desiccate their biological samples, finally finishing their project.
The Next day we did a questionnaire on what they think about our project and some other questions. Including what they think about GMO, how well do they know about energies. The details of the result will be shown in the engagement part. We also spent some time to design a fun booklet that holds simple knowledge of synthetic biology and other science knowledge to handout to them. Since most of them stopped their education at primary school, we want to teach them some simple and interesting science knowledge in this way and encourage the children to get more education.
At night we called the whole village together and had a public presentation on science. The knowledge we taught are useful so they listened very carefully. We told the children why they look like their parents. Most of the people in the village first heard about DNA. And they don’t believe giving birth to a boy is entirely depend on the father before we told them. And to make the knowledge simpler, we even draw a lot of cartoon figures before we went to the village to help them understand.
From the experience to the countryside we finally knew about the actual difficulties they are facing in their daily life， and that is exactly what we should try to solve for them.
SMS_Shenzhen is also one of the High school IGEM teams in Shenzhen. However, this year this team with little competition experience has met some problems related to their school policy and teachers. Because of their school policy, the team members of SMS_Shenzhen could not use their school’s laboratory to do experiment during the summer holiday, and at the same time they haven’t got much direction and instructions from their school teachers.
The team members of SMS_Shenzhen communicated with Chen Weizhao, the PI of our team SZU-China, and formed a collaboration between the two groups: Our PI Chen Weizhao has registered to be the PI of the team of SMS-Shenzhen; Our laboratory was shared with SMS_Shenzhen for them to do their experiment; Our team members provided a comprehensive help for SMS_Shenzhen in design, materials, manipulation, and instruments of experiment. The members of SMS_Shenzhen also let us see their assiduity and earnest. Although most of their team members lived far from Shenzhen University, their team members still kept coming to our laboratory in turn to do experiments every day. We also have had a communication on making WIKI, and we offered them a plan about how to solve the problem of the influence of the different Window size to the completeness of page display.
SMS_Shenzhen also helped us to spread questionnaire to collect more data, and their help multiply the number of data we were able to collect. At the same time they also helped us translate part of our WIKI into English, since many of them applied for universities abroad, they might be more adroit in writing English.