The Tsinghua iGEM team collaborated with many registered iGEM teams in different aspects. OUC-CHINA team offered us AHL powder and we helped them with modeling part. We also helped students from Beijing Institute of Technology to establish two new teams, BIT and BIT-CHINA.

  • NANJING University
  • BIT
  • Other Teams
  • Publicizing

Collaboration with OUC-CHINA Team

At the regional jamboree in the competition in 2012, we established a long term collaboration with OUC-CHINA team. This year we helped them build the mathematical model for their project. Specifically, We help OUC write the Gillespiessa Algorithm to simulate the real situation ,so that they can use it to estimate their experiment errors ,and they adjust the Matlab Code in other situation,they run it well and save a lot of time.

Figure 1. Gillespie Stochastic Simulation.

OUC-CHINA also offered us much help including sending us the AHL powder, which enabled us to achieve the induction experiments. Besides, they assisted in constructing a plasmid in one of our control experiments.

Collaboration with Nanjing University

In December 2012, students from Nanjing University visited Tsinghua University. Some of our team members who had also participated in the iGEM 2012 competition met with them. Tsinghua team members introduced the history, the procedure and rules of iGEM to them. They also gave suggestions on some problems that a team might face, including how to organize a team, how to get funding, and how to prepare for everything beyond mere experiments, especially modeling.

Collaboration with BIT Team

Figure 1. Meeting with students from BIT Team.

Figure 2. The instructors from BIT Team (left photo) and the students from Tsinghua Team (right photo).

It’s difficult to start a project with bright ideas, yet it’s even more difficult to start an iGEM team from nowhere. Unlike students in our university which has a team each year, students enthusiastic about synthetic biology and iGEM from Beijing Institute of Technology are participating in the competition for the first time this year. It was an honor to collaborate with them and share the experiences in iGEM.

We talked about the background knowledge about iGEM as well as synthetic biology. Being in the School of Life Sciences of Tsinghua University which had participated in iGEM for over four years, we shared our experiences of participating in the competition as well as our thinking about iGEM.

The team leader last year and the advisor this year, Zhao Yu, answered the questions raised by BIT students.

At the end of the meeting, the two teams promised to establish a long term collaboration.

Communication with BIT-CHINA Team

Figure 3. Discuss our project with students and instructors from BIT-CHINA Team.

In April 2013, another team established later in BIT visited our school. Team members and teachers in charge from both universities had a meeting about iGEM. We shared our experimental designs and discussed a lot about them. Suggestions from the students and the professors inspired both teams greatly, especially knowing that this second team from BIT was designing a project which had some connections with what Tsinghua team had done last year. Their high compliments also made us more confident about our project.

Collaboration of with other teams

BIT team is not the only iGEM team we’ve collaborated. As a tradition, we are always glad to collaborate with other teams from Tsinghua University. Coming from different departments of the university including Department of Chemistry Chemical Engineering, Department of Automation, and School of Life Sciences, all Tsinghua iGEMers learned a lot from other teams and shared many precious experiences in their own special fields.

Publicizing iGEM and synthetic biology

Our team has also held many lectures , introducing iGEM as well as synthetic biology for the students in Tsinghua from different departments in Tinsghua. Via the introduction, we encouraged the students attending our lectures to join our 2013 team for iGEM 2013. Over 50 applicants handed in their application materials with expression of strong interests in synthetic biology. One of them even planned to choose synthetic biology as his perspective Ph.D research field. After two rounds of selection and discussion (we had even argued with each other about the admission of applicants for 7 hours in the mid-night.)

We took advantages of any activities in our university to publicize iGEM and synthetic biology to students in our university. In a scientific exhibition hold by our university school, we presented the previous Tsinghua iGEM projects, and introduced the synthetic biology as well as iGEM competition background knowledge. Even the vice president of our university was attracted by our poster. He listened to our introduction carefully and asked a lot of questions about the potential application of synthetic biology. He said excitedly that the university should encourage more students to participate in the competition to expend their horizons.

Collaboration with other iGEM team is one of our best traditions. We believe that we can all learn from each other via these events, and bring the idea of synthetic biology to a larger population.