It is the second year in a row that our team together with Paris_Bettencourt publishes Newsletter for iGEM Competition. With the addition of Pasteur_Paris, there have been several changes and updates. Last year, Newsletter was mainly composed of Team Introduction and Project Update apart from the special issue-interview with SYSU. However this year, not only do we offer a communication platform among teams, we also turn to long-term relationship between teams and relevant figures in the form of interviews, surveys, argues and so on. Teams all around the world introduce their programs, share details of experiments, ask for help, and reply to requirements from counterparts. We excavate the quintessence of past work as the shoulder standing on which the following teams could see further. There are seven issues this year, among which are three special issues.
The first issue-the first special issue at the same time, which was released on May 17th, is about how to set up and operate an iGEM team. Many teams were at the beginning of the establishment at that time, so we drew our inspiration from that. We really appreciate the contributions from Professor Wayne Materi and eleven experienced teams. Though each situation differs, there is still some important reference value to both old and new teams.
The publication of the second issue contains two parts: Project Introduction and Ethical Discussions. Eight teams showed their projects and sixteen teams expressed their opinions on a controversial research in April based on ethics. The researchers, headed by gene-function researcher Huang Junjiu at Guangzhou's Sun Yat-sen University, modified in human embryos a gene responsible for beta thalassaemia, a blood disorder that can be fatal.
On June 15th, we released the third issue only about projects with the participation of twelve teams.
The fourth issue-the second special issue came out in late June. This special issue is about the present situation of synthetic biology in different countries. Twelve teams from nine countries were willing to share their views.
The coming fifth issue consists four parts: Project Update, Interview, Human Practices and About Competition System. Many teams got started on Human Practices in July, so the new part was added. Meantime, we interview professors and collect suggestions to make connections between teams and the organizing committee.
The sixth issue, a special issue about software, consists four parts: Project Update from DRY Teams; Open Questionnaire about Software; Project Update from WET Teams and Human Practices about Collaboration & Problems. We did an open-ended questionnaire with the following three questions: 1. What software are you using in iGEM this year? 2. What software have you used in previous competitions? (Maybe you can list some and that will help a lot. 3. What kind of software do you need most? Which features are you looking forward to?
Finally, the seventh issue-the last issue was shown with four parts: Project Update, Interview, Human Practices and About Competition System. Twenty-two teams joined us, which made Newsletter for 2015 iGEM a happy ending.
We’ve made improvement this year and we hope to make it better!
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