Helping others

Together, we are stronger

Nothing prepares a team better for a jamboree than hand-shoe-football! A large part of the iGEM competition’s ideal is to help other teams; teams this year and in years to come. The point of the Biobrick system is through means of cooperation to make biological engineering simple, and to emphasize the importance of collaboration. One of the gold medal requirements is to help another team, either by modelling or through lab work.

As part of our project, we helped the Edinburgh Team with a computer modulation, made a video to help the team from the University of Copenhagen start a new iGEM educational system, and hosted a Jamboree preparing meetup for the danish iGEM teams.

Modelling for Edinburgh
Basically, there are two ways to optimize a system of microbacterial organisms. At SDU, we optimized the internal pathways, ensuring better production from each cell. Alternatively, optimization of the cells’ external environment (with the intention to maximize the number of cells) will increase production speed. This is the solution that Edinburgh’s team worked on.

Our collaboration has been mutually beneficial: We have gained an understanding of the second type of optimization with the option of future implementation into our work, while being able to help Edinburgh with inevitable problems, which arose when simulating systems.

Specifically, we helped the Edinburgh team to identify their system as being stiff, which requires different techniques to solve, for example better stability properties of the integrators. Additionally, the Edinburgh team required help to solve the nonlinear equations that arose from the model.

Edinburgh's description of our collaboration. A further description of our collaboration can be seen under Modelling.

Danish iGEM meetup
Enjoying a beer in the sun, discussing ideas and the upcoming jamboree. The past couple of years the Scandinavian iGEM teams have met over a weekend to discuss projects, experiences, and presentations. This year, it was our turn to host the event. Unfortunately, only Danish teams had a chance to participate, as the chosen weekend coincided with the start of the new semester. The first day of the meetup featured team building exercises and (in the spirit of great Danish tradition) a beer to get the talk going amongst the teams. The following morning, we presented our projects and preliminary posters, got feedback for improvements in preparation of the Jamboree, and discussed lab-related topics during a workshop. And importantly, we enjoyed each other’s company and exquisitely nerdy humor.

Bricks of Knowledge:
During the meetup, we heard about the University of Copenhagen’s Bricks of Knowledge-project and decided to support the great initiative. We made a short movie about what we have learned in terms of keeping order in lab to conserve an overview of the project. We believe we did this quite well, and our little tips were included in the video. This video can be seen on the website of the 2013 University of Copenhagen iGEM team.