Human Practice


Knowing that collaboration is the tenet of iGEM competition, this year we have collaborated with two
iGEM teams, a high school team (SDSZ China) and an undergraduate team (Tsinghua A). By collaborating
with these two iGEM teams, we can seek out help whenever needed and receive prompt feedback about our
project design and Wiki contents.

Collaboration with Team Tsinghua-A

Having been known each other for a long time, we were quite thrilled to reach out to our old friends Ke Yuxi
and Wang Linghan, two team members from Team Tsinghua A, and form a very healthy and constructive
relationship with them. In retrospect, it turned out to be a very worthy journey with them.

Linghan first approached us for help for the generation of BioBricks that are eligible for delivery accorded
by the rule of Standard Plasmid Delivery. She brought up the conversation on how they lacked proper lab
facility for liquid evacuation. We offered the machine with alacrity and helped them processed their
extracted DNA into the dried form. We also reciprocated the topic on choosing a delivery company, and she
mentioned one that seemed the most suitable for our purpose. This first collaboration initiated the
following interaction.

With the deadline for freezing Wiki approaching, we visited their Wiki pages and they did it as well. They
noticed several technical flaws regarding to the awkward website design, and professionally pinpointed
the problem being originated from the misuse of the HTML and CSS programming language. It is because of
their help with scrutiny we would be able to adjust and optimize our website display. We were very
grateful to their help. On the final day before the excruciating Wiki freeze, two teams decided to host
a get-together on Wiki final check. We brought snacks and drinks, and outputted Wiki contents with

These two collaboration for the sake of medal requirements, but actually boosted our working efficiency,
improved the quality of the final project and formed very precious friendship that will be remained.
In the future, we would really look forward to creating more memories with them.

Collaboration with Team SDSZ China

A member from Team SDSZ China, approached us in April and mentioned the possibility of
consulting with us about iGEM competition. We agreed with alacrity, knowing the difficulty of
setting up a high-school team without assistance, to meet with her.

Several days later, we met with her on the campus of Tsinghua University and discussed wide-ranging matters
from how to participate in the iGEM competition to how to search for literature, including using PubMed
to search for Synthetic Biology papers. She was especially uncertain about the usage, creation and
delivery of BioBricks, and asked a lot of great questions, such as “how to define a ‘new’ BioBrick
eligible for earning a bronze or silver medal” and “how to deliver a newly created BioBrick to the
iGEM headquarter”. We were not only impressed by her familiarity with the competition, but also started
to appreciate the role of BioBricks in standardizing the use of plasmids for synthetic biology – it should
be educated to every researcher in the Synthetic Biology field because it permits convenient plasmid
sharing and inter-laboratory communication.

Reciprocally, we also benefited from their team. We were enlightened by their project – developing a cheap
penicillin detection method for people within relatively underdeveloped areas, and glad to find out
that the influence of iGEM has permeated into high schools and spurred the participation of high school
students in the iGEM competition. We were edified both by their intricate idea of fusing GFP with
penicillin binding protein and therefore creating a visual assay for evaluating the efficacy of penicillin
detection, and by its potentially far-reaching application for consumers with below-average income. What
did we learn? When designing a project, especially on topics that are entangled with practical and
industrial purposes, we should not only take into account how to make the idea fancier, but should also
heed the practicality of the project – is it valuable for the non-academic community? Can it be easily
understood by laymen and applied in daily lives? In addition, they also provided insightful advice on
how to improve our Wiki, such as the overall logic of the website design, and contents that can be written
more candid.

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