Team:Sydney Australia/Collaboration

Improvement of pre-existing iGEM parts

We created new parts building on the function of the BBa_K592009 part (amilCP, a blue chromoprotein) from the 2011 Upsala team through error prone PCR. Check this out here!

iGEM Australia Meet Up

iGEM USYD hosted the other Australian teams from the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University and the University of Melbourne to share and discuss the hard work done by each team. All of the teams exchanged ideas about progress and the content of the wiki, poster and presentations. We also explored avenues through which we could collaboratively help each other such as through research, modelling and outreach. Each team brought something new to the table, and we rounded up proceedings with pizza and social drinks. Thank you to all the other teams for coming and having such a great time!

Hamburg, Germany: Phone App and Modelling Collaboration

The mechanisms of our biosensor were remarkably similar to that of the Hamburg iGEM2016 project. Although their biosensor detected a completely unrelated molecule using different proteins, a two component signalling cascade, followed by transcription and translation was involved. It was therefore possible to model their signalling pathway within the confines of our model.

Their team aimed to diagnose Chlamydia via the fluorescence of GFP, for this they required an app capable of measuring fluorescence which is very similar to our own which measures how blue our system turns. In return for their help 3D printing a prototype for the industrial use case of our stickers, we wrote them an app capable of performing diagnosis on fluorescence levels by comparing the negative, positive and patient micro-fluidic wells visible to the smartphone camera. It will require further testing to set the exact threshold and scaling values, but is currently an excellent prototype.

UNSW, Australia: Protein Expression + His-Tag and GMO Legalities Collaboration

We traded expertise in protein work with the UNSW team. We attempted to express two of their proteins (G3P and PP3) using our pET28c plasmid in BL21 (DE3, pGro7) E. coli. given our success in expressing our two mycobacterial proteins EtnR1 and EtnR2 using this system. We also gave them strains of E. coli. that overexpress membrane proteins for their work on outer membrane vesicles. The UNSW team performed a Western Blot for us using anti-His antibody conjugated to HRP to verify our proteins were expressed with a His6-Tag. Additionally we both looked at the laws surrounding the use of GMOs in Australia and in other countries such as the contrast between developed countries and developing countries.
We also shared progress and experiences through an informal meet-up overflowing with laughs and pizza!

Michigan, USA: Misconceptions of SynBio Articles

We contributed two articles to the Michigan iGEM team’s website about common misconceptions in the synthetic biology world. We wrote about the misconception that antibiotics can treat all infections, like the common cold or the flu, and the misconception that all E. coli are dangerous.


Instagram was a super platform for communication of scientific ideas and procedures, not only to the general public, but also with other iGEM teams. Through Instagram we participated in Rice iGEM's Humans of SynBioproject, as well as making suggestions and providing virtual support to other teams. Overall we connected with over 46 iGEM teams worldwide!

Skype meetings with iGEM Toronto, Auckland and NCKU-Tainan

Despite being from the land down under, we conducted Skype meetings with a variety of other iGEM teams to discuss our projects so far, and to share any advice and learning experiences that we’ve had. It was great to learn so much about the brilliant work going on in other labs and super-exciting to see all the potential improvements synbio can bring to the world!

With iGEM Toronto, we shared ideas and codes for phone apps for readout of reporter protein biosensing systems. We also exchanged thoughts about biosensor design, particularly on having cell-free extracts on paper. We love your project on gold – in this case, all that glitters is definitely gold!

With iGEM Auckland, we shared protocols for protein expression and His-Tag purification and also collaborated on contacting industry partners relevant to each other’s respective projects. We reached out to waste management companies and thought leaders in Sydney for the Auckland team, and they reached out to horticultural companies in Auckland for us to get advice from!

The Tainan team had just recovered from Typhoon Megi not long ago, but that hadn’t impeded their work on a glucose biosensor for use in a diabetic context. We exchanged ideas about readout proteins such as our amilCP and their RFP constructs, as well as ideas about the actual biosensor design. We also discussed how we would market our respective sensors in an industrial setting which was very thought-provoking and inspiring!

USYD Primer Design App

We had a similarly great response from the iGEM community about our primer design app. We asked for DNA sequences and their corresponding primers to test the primer design app that we developed!

The USYD iGEM Survey

We had a great response from the iGEM community about our survey! Every team we talked to was more than happy to answer our survey and to distribute it amongst their friends and contacts! Check out the map in the banner above to see everyone who responded!

School of Life and Environmental Sciences
The University of Sydney
City Road, Darlington
2006, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia