On August 11th, Team Darmstadt joined our laboratory to talk about our projects and exchange some thoughts and ideas in line with their Labsurfing project. We are glad we were a part of their big journey across different iGEM labs in Europe!
Moreover, we attended the iGEM Meetup Germany in Marburg from 31st July to the 2nd August to get insights into a huge number of other iGEM projects.
Team Marburg organised a meetup for all German iGEM teams lasting three days. Team Tuebingen sent two members to represent our team’s project and to look out for collaboration options. The weekend was filled with presentations of each team’s project, a canoe race and activities like barbecue and a socialising party. Besides sightseeing and pub-crawling, the teams could get in contact with each other and establish cooperations. Our team was able to exchange useful tips and tricks regarding organisation and lab methods.
On Mai 2nd, we invited the iGEM Team Freiburg to visit our institute, introduce their project DiaChip (Team Freiburg) and talk about our project “Crellumination”.
We were highly exicted to listen to their project, which could provide a powerful tool for clinical diagnostics. We are happy to contribute to their project by providing them with a purified carboxyfluorecine labelled SpyTag. They will use this to bind pathogen-specific antigens to the surface of their diagnostic chip.
Our most important collaboration was the one with the iGEM Team Valencia_UPV , as we both work with the Dronpa protein in the iGEM competition 2015. This collaboration was very profitable for both teams as we were able to improve each others projects.
When we first got in touch, the iGEM Team Valencia had not yet been able to activate and deactivate Dronpa. We had previously stumbled upon the same problem and managed to solve it using higher intensity lasers. We recommended them to use similar contraptions.
Since both teams had little experience with the modelling of biological systems we discussed our ideas and thoughts regarding the modelling of the Dronpa activation with Team Valencia. Team Valencia attempted to implement the systems equations of their biological circuit with ‘pure/vanilla’ matlab. Our own project however required probabilistic elements due to the discrete nature of the population encoded sensor information. From our discussion with Team Valencia, we concluded that SimBiology was not the optimal tool for our task however team Valencia might profit from it. We profited insofar as our understanding of certain modelling elements was improved as well as mutually reviewed our implementations.
This exchange of ideas particularly improved the mathematical formulations, because the peer review process provided a necessary sanity check, and we could train how we should present the theoretic part to people that are unfamiliar with our projects.
Team UCSF kindly provided us with their Cadherin-construct from 2011, sent us the plasmid as well as sequencing it. Unfortunately we did not get to include this into our project. Nevertheless they did us a great favor and it was fun to collaborate with them!