Team:Virginia/iGEM Outreach

Our outreach to other iGEM teams included attending a Mini Jamboree, conducting an iGEM-wide survey, producing a pamphlet on biocontainment for iGEM teams, and designing a widget to help teams choose a biocontainment method.

First, we needed to assess the biocontainment knowledge of iGEM teams. We wanted to find out what people knew, and more importantly didn’t know, about biocontainment. We accomplished this first on a small scale, by attending the Mid-Atlantic Mini Jamboree, hosted by the University of Maryland. We exchanged project ideas with other teams. We also hosted a biocontainment forum with the other attending teams. This forum inspired us to create electronic tools and expand our outreach to other teams. We created an online biocontainment survey to gauge understanding of biocontainment across iGEM teams. Using the results of this survey, we developed a comprehensive pamphlet. We also created an interactive web widget that allows iGEM teams to customize biocontainment that fits their project. Do teams need something robust, something quick, or a method that fulfills other criteria? With our widget (see below), they can find the perfect solution.


Our pamphlet about biocontainment targeted at iGEM teams can be downloaded here.

Biocontainment Widget
Test Input User Input Form

What are you looking for in a biocontainment method?

Intended use of your system Is the intended use of your synthetic organism only in the laboratory?
Yes No

Is the intended use of your synthetic organism only in the human body?
Yes No

Indicate your level of concern for each biocontainment characteristic (1=low concern, 3=medium concern, 5=high concern).

NOTE: For best results, be selective about your choices; i.e. avoid choosing 5 for every category.

Ease of implementation: 1 2 3 4 5

Cost of implementation: 1 2 3 4 5

Ease of maintaining the contained organism in the environment: 1 2 3 4 5

Cost of maintaining the contained organism in the environment: 1 2 3 4 5

Effectiveness: 1 2 3 4 5

Toxicity to environment: 1 2 3 4 5

UMaryland Mini Jamboree

On July 22, 2016, the University of Maryland (UMaryland iGEM) hosted their second annual Mid-Atlantic Mini-Jamboree. Several teams from the East coast came together to present their progress and learn from other iGEMmers. During this conference, our team was presented our progress in a fifteen minute presentation, and conducted an educational forum on the topic of biocontainment. Through this forum, we were able to teach teams about the need for and various methods of biocontainment, in addition to fielding questions about biocontainment as it related to their specific projects. The responses in the forum were extremely informative for our team in the generation of our iGEM-wide survey and addressing relevant concerns in our pamphlet.