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  • Tasty and nutritious, oh-so delicious broth!
  • Science!
  • It is a good day to transform some bacteria!
  • Behold, Super-Flipper!
  • Time for some serious science
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  • Serious Business
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  • Some of our green fluorescent Bacteria
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  • Flourescent Bacteria!!
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  • Various buffer samples prepared using the robo-pipette
  • The robo-pipette - it is the future!
  • Luke gets his hands dirty in the confocal microscope lab
  • The confocal microscope
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  • Great Success!
  • Cafe Sci Audience - feeling nervous?
  • Paul talking SynBio in the Here and Now
  • What Outreach really means...
  • Moo!

Leeds iGEM's Adventure to the Big Smoke and YSB 1.0

By Emily Taylor

Jonah Ciccone, humbly accepting praise
On the 12th July 2013, one early morning in Leeds train station, the Leeds iGEM team sleepily boarded the London King's Cross train. Little did Paul know, as he sat peacefully in an empty carriage, he was sitting on the wrong train! A mistake easily made at 7 in the morning! But regardless, the other train sped it's way down the country, stopping at Wakefield where Emily boarded, and as Jonah slept, we made our transition from the North of the country to the South. We arrived at London King's Cross station and waited a while for Paul to join us after his train mishap, this was critical as, if we were honest, he was the only one that knew where he was actually going!

The first day of the conference took place at the Wellcome Trust building. Here we arrived to coffee, much to the team's pleasure, and some fancy looking posters. We displayed our own poster and proceeded to mingle in with some of the other teams that had arrived, admiring their posters and getting to know their projects. We sat down to the first set of presentations where we learnt about what each team was planning to research for this year's iGEM competition and what other activities they were planning for outreach etc. After lunch and another set of presentations, there was a workshop session to which one member of our team attended each workshop, gaining a perspective on each subject area. Then came a poster session where teams could ask additional questions and propose collaboration requests. Jonah gained endless compliments on his art work on the poster, while the rest of the team got on with the serious business of drinking more coffee and chatting SynBio.

Our team presenting at YSB
That evening we ventured further into London and found our hostel, then headed back out for the social. That night we got to know some members of the other teams better and made new friends from across the country. The next day was another day packed full of presentations and Synthetic Biology. Emily and Jeni were particularly tired as they were woken up by a busker playing the guitar outside their window at 6am (only in London!). Then it was our turn to present. We think the response to our project was great and we were asked lots of challenging questions, showing people had a good interest in our work. The afternoon consisted of chats about the different aspects of iGEM, like modelling and outreach for example, and then the event was wrapped up by the head of iGEM himself!

On the whole we feel that the conference was a real success and it was worthwhile to be able to meet other iGEM teams from the UK and gain insight into their projects. It is the first conference ever to be held by SynBioSoc and hopefully there will be more in the future! The conference allowed us to gain feedback and new ideas about our own project as well as being able to contribute ideas and helpful hints to other team's projects. The conference was also a way to set up potential collaborations with other teams or even just to network so that we would be able to ask for help in subject areas in which other teams had particular strengths. We feel that these kind of conferences are very important if Synthetic Biology is to continue expanding and growing as a new field. They allow project ideas to reach a wider audience and help form collaborations across the UK iGEM teams.
All the teams attending YSB 1.0
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Bangs Laboratories, our fine sponsors and suppliers of silica beads
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