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Participation in the 1st Mexican Synthetic Biology Forum
We participated with a presentation of this year's project, its complications and the fun in it, on this new space that aims to consolidate and bring together the actors involved in the nascent field of Mexcian synthetic biology: the 1st Synthetic Biology Forum.

The iGEM team Ollin Mx from the Professional Interdisciplinary Biotechnology Unit of the IPN (UPIBI), along with some of their teachers, were the hosts of the 1st Forum of Synthetic Biology, held in August 8.

This Forum was a space where students and researchers (not only those specifically dedicated to the area) can talk about the potential Mexico has in the matter, and the tools we can generate that can contribute to other areas of biological sciences and applied disciplines.

The Forum featured Dr. Augustino Martinez (CINVESTAV Irapuato), the M. in B. José Antonio Alonso Pavón (Genomic Sciences Center), MBA Geronimo Villanueva Noguera (Mexican Association of Synthetic Biology), Dr. Pablo Padilla Longoria (UNAM), in addition to presentations by iGEM teams from different Mexican institutions.

More than 300 attendees, plus ten remote viewers streaming on YouTube, witnessed the presentations of some of the major axes of Synthetic Biology in Mexico. The event was attended by members of iGEM teams and others were also streaming from their respective cities.

Soon consistent themes began to emerge, among which were: a) the urgency of focusing on generating institutional projects, b) the need to continue the collaboration and dialogue, and finally, c) the duality basic research / applied research and whether priority should be given between the two or have a mixed approach.

Synthetic Biology Seminar
We participated on the Synthetic Biology Seminar of the School of Science, UNAM, where we exposed our project to both undergraduate students from Biology and Engineering and professors, and we were able to generate interesting discussions and analysis regarding Synthetic Biology, Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering.

Formal Petition to Mexican Congress to review DNA import/export politics.
We addressed a letter to Congressman Rúben Benjamín Félix Hays, President of the Science and Technology Commission of the Mexican Congress.

In Mexico the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (COFEPRIS), is a federal agency of the government of Mexico, which is linked to the Department of Regulation and Health Promotion of the Ministry of Health.

COFEPRIS regulates, among many other ambits, the health inspection process, use, maintenance, import, export and disposal of equipment for investigative purposes. However, this regulation normative has flaws, and both imports and export processes are difficult to convey and tedious, not to say annoying.

In our experience the genetic material for research goes through a lot of instances before being available to universities, laboratories or scientific institutions.

The problem is that in Mexico there is no legislation that allows sending DNA sequences (which are not toxic at all, nor represent any possible damage, and are not found in living organisms, and there is no way for them to enter to one without appropriate techniques in a laboratory) so that packages sent from abroad with the material needed to work on different project are held by customs, and reviewed by COFEPRIS in a process that never takes less than a month, which means a long delay in the projects.

This problem is not isolated to this iGEM competition, is a problem that all laboratories in the country have when they attempt to receive such material for research.

This is why we addressed a letter explaining this situation to the Congressman named above, noting the urge for creating a law initiative in this matter, hoping to get a positive response that can culminate in the creation of a formal proposal to the Mexican Congress.